Google’s New ‘Project Soli’ Gesture Sensing Tech Looks Like Magic


Google just released a new Project Soli, a interaction sensor that uses radar technology. Simple gestures like pinching your index finger and thumb together, or rubing them together at different speeds can now control a device with surprising accuracy. It really looks like magic.
Unlike gesture control tech that came before (which mainly relied on fairly clunky video sensors) the sensor used in Soli can track sub-millimeter motions at the speedy rate of 10,000 frames per second and with exceptional accuracy. Not only that, but it fits onto a fingertip sized chip and can be used in everyday devices like smart watches (which due to their size have posed major challenges in designing touch-based interfaces).
Project Soli 2
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Using radar is a “fundamentally different approach” to gesture-tracking says Project Soli’s design lead Carste Schwesig. Unlike camera-based systems which use a lens, the radar used in Project Soli will travel through certain materials, making it possible to place the chip inside devices and out of sight.
The experimental project comes from Google’s secretive Advanced Technology and Projects group (ATAP), which is actively testing the technology and finding new ways to use it.
Here’s what Project Soli founder Ivan Poupyrev has to say about the technology:
Sometime science inspires science fiction, and sometimes it goes the other way. In his hit 1979 book, ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’, Douglas Adams wrote these funny yet prophetic lines:
“For years radios had been operated by means of pressing buttons and turning dials; then as the technology became more sophisticated the controls were made touch-sensitive–you merely had to brush the panels with your fingers; now all you had to do was wave your hand in the general direction of the components and hope.”
It looks like that time is now.
#new project soli
#gesture
#google's new invention
#new technology
Project Soli 3

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