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?