Google has unveiled another cool project that it was secretly working on under its Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP). The company announced "Project Soli", a radar-based gesture control technology at the I/O developer conference.
Project Soli is Google ATAP's attempt to get rid of external input devices and make use of the human body as the only input device. As devices get smaller, interacting with them via a display can get cumbersome at times. Project Soli makes use of your hand and finger movements to interact with wearables or devices with small screens.
Gesture-based system are usually attached to video game consoles like the Microsoft Kinect or your computer like the Leap Motion. Google's ATAP team figured that the smaller form factor of the smartwatch segment needed its own finger-waving way to control the devices without having to reply on the smartphone.
The system uses broad beam radar to measure Doppler image, IQ and spectrogram. The chip recognizes movement, velocity distance and can be programmed to change the input based on that distance.
The idea is to use some of the same gestures you are already using for your mobile devices and augment those with hand motions that seem natural to interact with a Soli-enabled device.
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The Soli chip works within the 60Ghz radar spectrum at up to 10,000 frames per seconds. The final chip will contain everything it needs to be plug and play including the antennas. ATAP says the device can be made to scale.
The Project Soli team is still working to finalize the board, but it's gone from a device the size of a pizza box to about the size of an SD card in 10 months. Soli information will be released to developers later this year.
You can lear more about Project Soli by checking out this video