Patent application hints at Soli powered Google Pixel Watch navigation gestures

Patent application hints at Soli powered Google Pixel Watch navigation gestures
Will this be the year that Google finally releases a Pixel Watch? Last year, after Google had spent $40 million purchasing intellectual property from Fossil, we expected Google to unveil a smartwatch. It didn't. Last November, Google parent Alphabet announced that it was buying Fitbit for $2.1 billion giving us a reason to expect the unveiling of a Pixel Watch this year. And according to PatentlyApple, last week the USPTO published a patent application for smartwatch gestures that Google originally filed in January 2019. The gestures could be for a WearOS feature, or a feature to be used on a Google Pixel Watch.

The patent application calls for the use of an optical sensor that would be embedded on the body of a smartwatch. The sensor would be able to read gestures made by the watch wearer's fingers, wrists, and arms. To prevent an accidental gesture from setting off an unwanted action, the sensor will use an algorithm to match each gesture with a specific navigational action.

Most likely Google would employ its Soli radar technology for this feature. The company used this to run the Motion Sense gestures that were employed on the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. The gestures allowed users to skip streaming content, reject an incoming call, dismiss an alarm, and more. The capabilities were so underwhelming that Google has reportedly decided to drop the feature from the Pixel 5.

Google has traditionally unveiled the latest Pixel handsets during a Made by Google event held in October. We suspect that if the company is finally releasing a Pixel Watch, it will first see the light of day in approximately five months.

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