Google's Advanced Technologies and Projects group (ATAP), regular participants in especially innovative tech projects, is presenting Soli. Though it looks like a chip, it is in fact a radar, capable of recording finger movements and interpreting them to interact with a connected device, like a watch, for example.
The Soli project uses radio waves (60GHz) that are able to capture up to 10,000 images per second, thus acting like a radar that tracks the slightest hand movements or finger snaps in order to then convert them into action, be that scrolling through a menu or increasing the volume on a device.
Google is now working on integrating this technology into wearable connected devices, such as watches, so that they could be managed from a distance, without the need for a touch screen, buttons or a scroller. In fact, the body could eventually become the principal command interface for connected devices.
The team in charge of its development asserts that it is the most precise solution ever tested when compared to everything that has already been done in this sector, such as the motion sensing technology of Leap Motion, but also, and more importantly, the most compact, since it can be integrated into nearly any device.
Using textiles as a means of control
Google's laboratories are also working on another project, Jacquard, in collaboration with Levi's. In this case they are developing a textile that is sensitive to touch in order to use all or part of an item of clothing to interact with a smartphone or any other connected device.
Google ATAP is already at the origin of several projects in various phases of development, such as Ara (modular smartphone) and Tango (3D cartography).