We’re not sure if MacBook Pro owners have noticed, but your laptops come with built-in ambient light sensors which has been used for the most part to dynamically adjust the brightness of its displays, as well as adjust the backlighting of the keyboard. Well now it seems that in the recently OS X Mavericks, Apple has tapped the ambient light sensor to do more than that and will now be able to detect when users are not around their computer, thus putting the computer to sleep, spinning down the hard drives, or turning off the display in a bid to save energy.
This is according to a discovery by a developer, Moshen Chen, who initially found the code in OS X Mavericks, but had thought that it had something to do with the iSight camera, but turned out to be the ambient light sensor in this case. This has since been confirmed by The Verge as well, who in their own report states that, “after covering the camera but not the light sensor, we were able to delay sleep mode by changing the ambient lighting conditions.” Sounds like a pretty nifty function and one designed for convenience that the regular user might not even notice. At this point in time it is unknown what other uses Apple has for the ambient light sensor, but third-party developers have taken advantage of the feature in the past. What sort of upcoming features would you like to see in the future that will make use of the built-in sensor?