Since the fall of last year, we’ve known that Human Presence Sensing (HPS) is headed for Chromebooks and ChromeOS, even if we’ve yet to see the fruits of this work. How presence sensing will play into the Chromebook experience is still up in the air a bit, but one integration would likely be the upcoming auto lock and snoop detection features we’ve been waiting for since late last year.
While we’ve seen references to HPS here and there in the Chromium Repositories, this is the first time we’ve seen mention of ‘Body Detection’ and for now, it is only showing up for a particular Chromebook. It comes courtesy of ‘Crota’ – a 12th-gen Intel Alder Lake Chromebook that should be showing up some time later this year or early in 2023.
What body detection could be used for
At the moment, it is unclear what this feature will be for. With so many wireless connections possible on a Chromebook, body detection can be used for simple things like re-routing signals or decreasing their strength for overall health and well being of the user. But we’ve seen this in place for quite some time with Chromebooks already, so I don’t think there would be an additional need to add this new ‘body detection’ if that’s all it will be used for.
Perhaps this new Chromebook will be among the first to have a heightened security feature set that will use body detection to know when to scan for entry into the OS. Maybe it is as simple as the auto locking mechanism mentioned earlier. Or, perhaps there’s something new in the works that we’ve yet to see on a Chromebook up to this point. For right now, we simply don’t know.
Who’s making Crota?
While we usually don’t know 100% who’s behind a given Chromebook, this one will likely be coming from Dell. We’ve yet to talk about ‘Crota’ here on the site, but this is yet another 12th-gen Intel Alder Lake device with an @wistron domain in the attached email. As far as Chromebooks go, this email domain is always a clear indicator of Dell’s involvement. I doubt ‘Crota’ will be any different.
That being said, that puts us at 4 total Chromebooks coming from Dell with 12th-gen Intel hardware inside. For a company that hasn’t produced a new flagship Chromebook in nearly 2 years, that’s a lot of hardware on the horizon. My guess is we’ll see one flagship, one mid-tier, and a duo of Chromebook Enterprise devices. There’s a duo in ‘Gimble’ and ‘Primus’ that look to fit the enterprise setup employed by Dell in earlier years and a device in ‘Banshee’ that could perhaps make for the first XPS Chromebook.
So where does that leave ‘Crota’? Maybe we finally see a follow-up to the Dell Inspiron Chromebook or maybe one of these 4 devices becomes a gaming-focused laptop. Right now things are murky and all we know is all four of these Chromebooks have commits tied to them that are authored by someone at Wistron. And that almost always means Dell is in the mix. As we always do, we’ll keep digging and let you know when we learn more.