Google Pixel 4 video confirms Motion Sense gesture controls, advanced face unlock

Google Pixel 4 video confirms Motion Sense gesture controls, advanced face unlock
Google doesn't want people to continue to read leaks and rumors about its smartphones, and starting this year, the Mountain View company has decided to offer information about the Pixel phones long before their official reveal.

There's a lot of interest for the upcoming Pixel 4, and Google reckons there's a way to further increase the hype around its flagship by revealing tidbits of information about the device.

Today, the company revealed details about the technology behind two new features coming to Pixel 4: face unlock and gesture controls. In a blog post, Google explains that it's been working on Soli, a motion-sensing radar that is typically used to detect planes and other large objects.

Google miniaturized a radar used to detect planes

Google managed to create a miniaturized version of the motion radar and put it at the top of the Pixel 4 so that the phone can sense small motions about the phone. With the help of unique software algorithms and advanced hardware, Pixel 4 can recognize gestures and detect when the user is nearby.

According to Google, the Pixel 4 will be the first smartphone to feature Soli, its new Motion Sense features, which will allow users to skip songs, snooze alarms, and silence phone calls by simply waving their hands. Google also mentions that Motion Sense will be available “in select Pixel countries.”

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Next up, face unlock is another new feature coming to Pixel 4. Thanks to Soli, Pixel 4 recognizes the user's face and unlocks itself in a more streamlined way. Current technology included in the phone requires users to lift the phone all the way up, pose in a certain way, wait for it to unlock, and then swipe to get to the homescreen.

However, Pixel 4 will turn on the face unlock sensors as you reach for the phone, recognizing that the user may want to unlock it. In case the software algorithms and unlock sensors recognize the user, the phone will open immediately as it is picked up, all in one motion.

Moreover, Google claims that Pixel 4's face unlock feature will work in almost any orientation, regardless of how you're holding the phone. Also, you'll be able to use it for secure payments and app authentication.

As far as the accuracy goes, Google says that the Pixel 4 “should be able to recognize you, and only you, without any fuss,” but that remains to be seen.

Pixel 4 face unlock feature is more secure than ever

One other important thing revealed by Google is how secure the face unlock feature really is. The search giant claims face unlock uses facial recognition technology that processes the images directly on the phone, and that the data obtained never leaves the Pixel 4. 

Furthermore, all images used for face unlock are not saved or shared with other Google services, instead, everything is stored in the phone's Titan M security chip. Moreover, all Soli sensor data that is processed on the Pixel 4 will not be saved or shared with other Google services.

Although both features revealed today are far from being new for the smartphone industry, it looks like Google's approach will make the difference. In theory, face unlock is a faster way to open your smartphone than the fingerprint sensor, but only if the technology works just like Google describes it in the blog post.

Google says the Pixel 4 will be officially introduced in fall, but we're expecting the phone to be available on the market at some point in October, so there's a lot of time that Google can use to unveil even more new features that will pack inside its upcoming flagship.

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