Windows 10 21H2 comes with new controls for human presence feature

Windows 10 Human Presence

A few years ago, Microsoft added APIs for a feature called
“Human presence”, which is currently used by companies like
Lenovo and Dell on their flagship laptops. As the name
suggests, Human presence allows the operating system and
hardware to detect user presence, and enhance security while
maintaining ease of use.

With Windows 10 Sun Valley update, otherwise known as version
21H2, Microsoft is introducing native controls for Human
Presence. Currently, you can only manage this feature using the
app bundled by OEM, but this will change with the Sun Valley
update, which will include Group Policy and Settings to manage
Human Presence.

As shown in the screenshot below, Microsoft is working on three
new settings for Windows 10 – Force instant lock, Force instant
wake and Lock timeout.

Human Presence

When the first option “Force instant lock” is enabled, Windows
will automatically lock your computer when you’re away from the
screen. If you have the supported camera sensors, Windows 10
can sense when you’re sitting or standing in front of it, and
detect when you walk away from the computer.

The automatic lock is triggered when you’re away from the
computer for the specified timeout, such as 2 minutes, 30
seconds and 10 seconds. It can also detect distance – 1.2
meters, 2.5 feet, 0.6 meters or 1 foot – and lock your device
automatically.

The second feature “instant wake” will enable touch-free logins
when you sit down at your laptop.

As mentioned at the outset, human presence is not a new
technology and settings are already offered with OEM software.
With the Sun Valley update, Microsoft is bringing these options
to the built-in Settings app and Group Policy editor, but the
end effect remains the same.

In addition to these new features,
Microsoft is also testing improvements for the taskbar and

Action Center in the preview builds. The big user interface
changes are currently expected to show up in June/July when the
Sun Valley update will be finalized.

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