FCC approves Google's radar based tech that could allow in-air gestures to navigate phones

FCC approves Google's radar based tech that could allow in-air gestures to navigate phones
On Monday, just before the ball dropped in Times Square, the FCC approved a radar based motion sensor technology from Google (via Android Authority) named Project Soli. The FCC document that officially approved the project said that it could be used "to enable touchless control of device functions or features, which can benefit users with mobility, speech and tactile impairments." With the use of a radar beam, Project Soli could allow a smartphone user to navigate a compatible touchscreen handset by waving his hand and making gestures in the air. Clicking on a link could be achieved by tapping one's thumb to their index finger, even if the phone is a little distance away from the handset.

The FCC agreed to allow Google to use a lower peak power limit than what the company had asked for in its waiver request. But Google says that Soli can still operate under the approved range. The technology also is being approved for use on aircraft.

We might not see this technology employed on smartphones for some time as Google is in the early testing phase with the FCC approval. Google will need to work on on the possible security issues inherent with tech like this. After all, you don't want someone else navigating around your phone from a distance, do you?

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4 Comments

1. Atechguy0

Posts: 918; Member since: Aug 03, 2018

I have been waiting for this tech for some time now. Especially when it was first announced a number of years ago. Not to mention their was even a limited number of development kits based on project soli, that was released a while ago. I tried to get one, but it was only available in the US. Well I can't wait for this to arrive. It was also going to be released for smart watches as well. So not just smartphones or tablets.

2. ShadowUnleashed

Posts: 87; Member since: Feb 08, 2018

Reminds me of Air Gestures on the Galaxy S4 in 2013.

3. Atechguy0

Posts: 918; Member since: Aug 03, 2018

This is using radar to see what's in front of the device. So it could be completely dark out and the devices display off, and it would still work. The S4 is using a camera and it needs sufficient lighting.

4. ShadowUnleashed

Posts: 87; Member since: Feb 08, 2018

The S4 used the proximity sensor, if I'm not mistaken. I could do the same on my S5, even on the dark.

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