Google’s Pixel 4 Could Include Air Gestures

Google is expected to introduce the new Pixel 4 line of phones later this year. And although it’s still a bit early to start talking leaks, there are already some rumors surrounding Google’s upcoming line of Pixel devices.

According to a new report from 9to5Google, Google is reportedly planning to integrate a chip into the Pixel 4 devices that will allow users to control the device with air gestures. So you will essentially be able to do things like swipe between Instagram Stories with simple air gestures, for example. The feature will apparently be powered by Google’s Project Soli chip that uses radar to be able to different hand gestures.

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To further support 9to5Google’s report, the folks at XDA Developers found some code on Android Q that suggest Google is already working on implementing the software side of things for the new gesture chip. Apparently, there’s code on the Android Q betas that refer to an “Aware” sensor which could very well be Soli.

Google was permitted by the FCC to continue developing Soli earlier this year, and it shouldn’t be too surprising to see the sensor make its way to the upcoming Pixel devices. Google has been working on the chip for a few years, and it’s probably developed quite a lot over the last years. Whether the implementation of Soli introduces any actual useful features remains to be seen, though. I have a good feeling it will all just be a gimmick.

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Conversation 6 comments

  • MikeCerm

    12 June, 2019 - 8:37 am

    <p>Samsung had "air gestures" like 7 years ago, and it's a feature that nobody cared about such that nobody ever bothered to copy the feature, and even Samsung removed gestures, I think, when they made the Galaxy S6, when Samsung really started cleaning up their software. Without sensors all over the phone, the tracking isn't good enough for anything more than any really simple things, and because it's a feature no one will use, it's not worth the cost of sensors. Though, I guess it's not any dumber than the "squeeze" feature of the newer Pixels. That's really dumb. </p>

    • Pungkuss

      13 June, 2019 - 6:25 pm

      <blockquote>Did you watch the video? The fine grain controls looked pretty cool. Will be nice to see how accurate the radar tech is and how they chose to apply it.</blockquote><blockquote><a href="#434834"><em>In reply to MikeCerm:</em></a></blockquote><p><br></p>

    • BoItmanLives

      13 June, 2019 - 9:10 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#434834">In reply to MikeCerm:</a></em></blockquote><p>Well gee do ya think maybe the tech has improved since 7 years ago?</p><p><br></p><p>YA THINK?</p>

      • SvenJ

        14 June, 2019 - 1:30 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#435244"><em>In reply to BoItmanLives:</em></a><em> </em>It's not even the same tech Samsung and others were working with. Those earlier efforts were camera based with optical processing to discriminate movement. This looks like it has more fidelity, which could engender more usage scenarios.</blockquote>

  • christian.hvid

    12 June, 2019 - 9:36 am

    <p>Wasn't air gestures supposed to be the killer feature of the never-released Nokia McLaren? What is dead may never die, apparently.</p>

  • SvenJ

    14 June, 2019 - 1:27 pm

    <p>It's a shame that some are poo-pooing the potential. Nokia had some of this using the camera and optical processing. The neatest thing at the time, to me, was being able to changes pages on a recipe without touching the phone. In the kitchen with messy hands you just waved left to right in front of the camera. This would be great in a Home hub. This is one of those technologies that suffers from the chicken and egg problem. It needs to be developed for better applications to be possible, but better applications don't present themselves until after it has been developed sufficiently. Glad Google is putting the effort in. </p>

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