A large part of the American workforce sits at a desk and logs onto a computer for the entire day. The rest of the day involves the leaving and returning to the desk, basically as often as any bathroom visit or snack is needed. Although it may sound like this is an invitation to discuss the unhealthiness of sedentary work habits, I’m actually hinting at what happens when you leave your computer unsupervised. Most employees probably have to log off or lock their workstations, whether that involves a screen lock or password combination. To leave it open would mean risking anyone accessing files and information secret to the company and its employees. From Sweden-based startup, Untethered Labs, the GateKeeper Chain is a gadget designed for this exact scenario.
Using Bluetooth 4.0, GateKeeper will automatically log off/lock your PC each time you are out of proximity from your computer, and unlock it when you come back. Admittedly, logging on and off a computer is not a big deal, and for the most part takes very little time, but Globe Gadget explains that “it’s not meant to solve some kind of big problem in today’s society, but rather make the office life more convenient”. You can set the locking range of your choice using the software that comes with GateKeeper, “near” being as close as 10 feet, and “far” being as far as 30+ feet.
The device is just a tiny fob, measuring 20 x 36 x 5 mm, and weighing just 4 grams. It works with any PC running Windows 7 and up, and will soon be compatible with Apple’s operating system. The gadget just attaches to your keychain, while the USB component plugs into your computer. The GateKeeper Chain also doubles as a keychain finder, which by launching an accompanying application found in either Google Play or the App Store, will alert your smartphone that your keys are left behind. Inside the app, you can press “locate” to see how close or far your keys are. It will guide you to your GateKeeper Chain by showing signal strength and providing a beeping sound.
So, no more lost keys and no strangers lurking through your confidential work computer files. Although it was made primarily for the office environment, it’s easy to see how anyone would use this for their home computer, in a dorm (kids can be mean), or plugging it into their laptop at a coffee shop to ensure their privacy. It is available in either black or silver, and retails for $25.
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