Google is making the Force real
Google’s Project Soli could put an end to dials, buttons and touch screens, and move us into a world where personal technology is controlled with a flick of the wrist.
Google unveiled the project at its recent I/O conference. It is a motion detector that recognises certain hand gestures and allows you to control appliances using them.
“What we propose is that you use a handmotions vocabulary,” said technical programme lead Ivan Poupyrev.
The idea of replacing controllers and remotes with the human body is not new. Companies such as Samsung and Microsoft with its Xbox have had products controlled by motion sensors available for years. What makes Project Soli different is it ditches the usual camera-tracking system and replaces it with radar, a more powerful and accurate technology.
Design lead Carsten Schwesig explains why Project Soli uses radar.
“Since Soli’s sensors can capture motion at up to 10 000 frames per second, it is more accurate than camera-based systems, which track motion at much lower frame rates. You can do things you would never be able to do with a camera.”
The potential for such an accurate and versatile motion controller is enormous, and may change the way we use personal technology entirely. At the very least, Star Wars fans will be thrilled that they can now control all their personal technology with a wave of their hands. The Force, anyone?
The project is still in development, but hopefully we will find it in our homes in
a couple of years
GESTURE TECH Project Soli is a radar-based system that lets people do things like rub their fingers together to interact with machines