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Intel chips could assist remote tech support

Future Intel chips will have built-in technology that allows PC companies to make remote service calls.

Intel's Eric Kim, head of its digital home group, disclosed the plans during his keynote address Tuesday at the Intel Developer Forum here in Beijing. The idea involves appropriating the vPro technology from the business side of Intel's house and developing a version for home PCs that would let a remote technician examine and help fix a PC from a remote location.

Plenty of service providers have been doing this without Intel's help. There are lots of consumers willing to pay third-party PC service technicians for extra help fixing problems, and the PC companies themselves have started to get into the act with their own remote services.

A lot of the details have to be worked out, but in a basic sense a home PC user could choose to configure a new PC with this technology, and then opt into a service plan with their Internet service provider or PC company to allow access to their PCs, Kim said after his speech.