Google gets approval for radar-based hand motion sensor

Google Project Soli

Apps & Software

Dubbed 'Project Soli, ' these sensors allow individuals to control devices without actually needing to touch a device.

Google said the mechanism will allow users to press an invisible button between the thumb and index fingers or a virtual dial that turns by rubbing a thumb against the index finger - technology that's reminiscent of that seen in the 2002 dystopian sci-fi flick starring Tom Cruise. Imagine grabbing and pulling a virtual slider in thin air.

In a December 31st, 2018 FCC order, the Commission found that Google's Soli sensors would pose "minimal potential of causing harmful interference to other spectrum users and uses of the 57-64 GHz frequency band".

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Google LLC has won permission from USA government regulators to deploy its Project Soli radar motion sensing technology in the real world. I hope Google is ready to commercialize this technology really soon.

Now Soli has received permission from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to allow the technology to work at higher power levels.

In particular, it uses broad beam radar to recognise movement, velocity and distance.

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Google wants to place these sensors in a variety of products, including wearable devices, phones, computers, and vehicles.

No one is doubting the usefulness of Project Soli's sensors, but Google has had to wait to deploy the technology at scale because of concerns raised by Facebook Inc. that it could interfere with communications between existing short-range transmitters or receivers embedded in a laptop or other handheld devices.

The go-ahead was given by the FCC after Google pointed out that while Soli requires higher frequency bands than permitted in the USA, the power levels were in line with the standards from the European Telecommunications Standards Institute.

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'The whole world is becoming a gadget that we interact with, with software everywhere, which raises the question how can we react with the entire world?'

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