Lots of news came out of Google's I/O Conference last week. One big thing still grabbing our attention involves Google's secretive Advanced Technology and Projects Group ATAP, formerly a division of Motorola that's now dedicated to creating the coolest things in mobile. Project Soli, the division's latest conquest, involves the use of hand and finger manipulation to control wearables. Ultimately, you become the smart wearable instead of what we're used to (smart watches, rings, headsets, etc). Well, not completely, but it's still cool.
Proponents of Project Soli consider one large benefit when using hand gestures instead of a physical object- intuition. The interface becomes far more intuitive and easy-to-use, and it does all of this with a tiny chip (60GHz RF transmitters in a piece of silicon, to be exact) using radar technology. No, the chip isn't implanted into your hand. But it is small enough to be added to nearly any device that you desire. It kinda takes away the fun in “making you the smart wearable”, but, at least it's modular. It's so versatile, actually, it's radar shoots not one singular beam to collect data, but a “wide radar bulb, designed to be big enough to see your entire hand at once” (Wired). This process measures up to 10,000 frames per second, better than camera systems.
So what will we be seeing Project Soli involved in? Everything. It's Google. The project's main objective is to make your hands and fingers the only user interface you'll need. The project's head, Ivan Poupyrev says he wants to focus on devices which have the smallest displays, in particular smartwatches. Because manipulating and interacting with such small interfaces isn't always easy, gesture control could be really helpful in that area. It's still in early stages, but we should be seeing Project Soli being widely used sooner than later. Guesses include working its way into Android Wear hardware. Make it in time for the holiday season and Google's got (another) goldmine.
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