Intel Remote Wake to Catch VoIP Calls

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Chipmaker Intel is getting ready to release new motherboard designs featuring a "Remote Wake" feature that will enable desktop PCs connected to the Internet via Ethernet to power up when they detect an incoming VoIP call. Although the technology will initially only be available on selected Intel-designed motherboards, the company is reported working with OEMs who do their own motherboard designs—like Dell and Hewlett-Packard—to integrate the technology into their offerings. Intel motherboards with Remote Wake capability will be available to PC makers next month.

The capability will initially only be available in desktop PCs connected to the Internet via an Ethernet connection, since powered-down or sleeping PCs and notebooks don’t leave Wi-Fi connectivity enabled.

The first company to capitalize on the technology will be Mountain-View-based VoIP provider Jajah. Jajah handles connecting Yahoo Messenger to the standard phone system, and is working on remote waking capabilities tied to instant messaging programs like Google Talk and Windows Live Messenger.

"Intel and Jajah have a common objective to deploy technology building blocks that deliver a richer communication experience for consumers," said Intel’s director of consumer product marketing Joe Van De Water, in a statement. "The combination of our technologies enables added convenience and energy efficiency for consumers who want the PC to be a genuine two-way communication platform for their IP-based telephony services."

In addition to giving consumers the option to power down PCs and still be able to receive VoIP calls, the Remote Wake capability also potentially gives consumers a way to turn on their PCs remotely with a phone call, perhaps so they can connect back to their PCs to retrieve crucial documents…or just fetch that cute weekend photo. Reportedly, the Remote Wake capability can be configured so the system will only wake up to calls from user-selected VoIP services.