From the Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group (ATAP), the company has unveiled a new cutting-edge project, named Project Soli and founded by Ivan Poupyrev. Soli is a new revolutionary approach for gesture control, unlike other existing sensors that basically use cameras to track movements, Soli project is based on a new type of powerful motion controller that will change the way we interact with objects.
The motion sensor uses a radar technology, which means that it can track your gestures and detect objects in motion using high frequency radio waves. The new approach will help “track sub-millimeter motions at high speed and accuracy,” said ATAP. The very small size of the radar equipped motion controller will make it easier to integrate in small wearable products like smartwatches.
Carste Schwesig, Project Soli’s design lead explain: “A typical model of the way you think about radar is like a police radar or baseball where you just have an object and you measure its speed, But actually we are beaming out a continuous signal that gets reflected by an arm, for example…so you measure the differences between the emitted and the received signal. It’s a very complex wave signal and from that we can provide signal processing and machine learning techniques to detect gestures“.
Schwesig continue to explain: “You can do things you would never be able to do with a camera, The speed doesn’t mean you have to move extremely fast, it just means you can detect very high accuracy.”
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According to Ivan Poupyrev, the project will be released to developers so they can add their ideas and contribute in its development, and beside of wearable technology the new sensor could be integrated in almost any device you can think of, anything that you could imagine accessing it through gesture control.
“It’s in chip form, since there are no moving parts involved it can be embedded inside devices, it can work through some materials, we can re-imagine this in everyday objects or even with existing products” Schwesig said.