A new API for Chrome OS has been discovered, and curiously asks that other devices be able to unlock your computer. The less-than-creatively named API, “chrome.screenlockPrivate”, was spotted originally by Chrome aficionado Francois Beaufort. The API linked to a corresponding Drive file, which outlines the simple, yet oddly sublime, utility.
The code review also has a short description, which reads “The chrome.screenlockPrivate API allows select apps to control the ChromeOS ScreenLocker.” A simple objective, it could be a really interesting feature for Chrome OS, and even the Chrome browser. If our mobile device is forced to be in proximity to our Chrome OS device to use it, it adds a layer of security Google is highly keen on, which is multiple devices guarding one another.
It also brings thing like Guest Mode into play, wherein you could simply leave your Chrome OS computer at home or the office, and those without your device (and by virtue API pass) could use it. We also like it as an anti-theft feature, which essentially locks a device down for most who would be interested in taking such devices anyway. In that way, it might be more interesting than we think.
The language notes that it has the ability to be used with USB, NFC, or Bluetooth. This calls into play smartwatches, Google Glass, your Android phone, other computers, and even NFC tags. We like the idea for a ton of reasons, most notably enterprise and education. If, by virtue of being in a class kids were prohibited from using their device as anything but a learning tool, Chromebooks for Education just got a lot better.