The technology is going to be embedded in the new phone and will likely pop up across a range of devices in the future.
The news: The phone will be the first product from Google to use Soli technology. The system will let people skip songs, snooze alarms, or silence phone calls with just a wave of the hand, according to a blog post and video teasing the upcoming launch of Google’s latest smartphone this fall.
So, what is Soli? Google has essentially developed a miniature radar system. It will sit at the top of the smartphone and sense small motions around it. Google has combined the sensor with algorithms that can detect motion and recognize gestures. Radar means Soli can work through fabric, or in the dark. The technology was approved by the Federal Communications Commission in January this year, paving the way for it to go on the market.
Long time coming: Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects team has been working on Soli for years (it was first publicly debuted back in 2015). It’s likely the Pixel 4 is just the start of a wider plan to embed the technology in lots of Google products, such as smart watches, smart speakers like Google Home, high-tech door panels and light switches, and even AR headsets.
Sign up here for our daily newsletter The Download to get your dose of the latest must-read news from the world of emerging tech.
DeepMind’s cofounder: Generative AI is just a phase. What’s next is interactive AI.
“This is a profound moment in the history of technology,” says Mustafa Suleyman.
What to know about this autumn’s covid vaccines
New variants will pose a challenge, but early signs suggest the shots will still boost antibody responses.
Human-plus-AI solutions mitigate security threats
With the right human oversight, emerging technologies like artificial intelligence can help keep business and customer data secure
Next slide, please: A brief history of the corporate presentation
From million-dollar slide shows to Steve Jobs’s introduction of the iPhone, a bit of show business never hurt plain old business.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.