Tracking you? No, but Mavericks knows when you are not in front of MacBook

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MacBook owners woke up to echoes of Rockwell and Michael Jackson singing ‘Someone’s Enjoying Me’ after an enterprising software coder discovered exactly how the most recent version of Mac OS X uses its built-in sensors.

Turns out, Apple’s newest OS X Mavericks operating system use the MacBook’s hardware in a brand-new and unique method.

Coder @ paranoidroid took to Twitter on October 31 to blast about an unsettling feature he’d actually come across – the iSight cam was tracking users’ motions.

Soon others on Twitter tried it for themselves, at some point concerning the conclusion that it hadn’t been the iSight camera but rather ambient light sensors that Mavericks was fiddling with.

Sitting idle

Let’s discuss just what’s going on with MacBook sensors and OS X Mavericks.

The laptop computer’s sensors are put just to the left of the built-in iSight video camera, and are used to readjust the brightness of the display based upon the ambient light in the room.

Starting with OS X Mavericks, Apple engineers have discovered a method to make use of the exact same sensors to check out ‘movement’ – or rather, track changes to the surrounding lighting conditions to determine when somebody is really sitting in front of their computer system.

Along with various other well-documented, under-the-hood improvements to OS X Mavericks, this change enables Mac computers to figure out when to sleep or lower processor time, probably using less energy in the process.