“If Google has its way, our future would be nothing less than a sci-fi movie.” We can stand by this statement after taking a look at what Google has planned for us next! If you were impressed with Google Glass, which basically brought virtual reality into our physical world, this next invention will blow your socks off! Yes, it’s that amazing! Don’t be fooled by the tiny computer chip size, Google’s Project Soli can transform your hand into a virtual dial machine to control the technology around you, without even touching it!
Google has invented a new interaction sensor using radar technology that can capture motions of your fingers at up to 10,000 frames per second. The chip is really a miniature gesture radar that captures even the most complex hand movements at close range, at unbelievably high speeds and replicates the hand gestures. The radar transmits a radio wave towards a target, and the receiver of the radar intercepts the reflecting energy from the target. A full gesture recognition pipeline has been built, designed to extract specific information from the radar signal at a high frame rate.
There was extensive thought put into how certain motions would read. The creators of Project Soli wanted the movements to feel natural to the human hand. Thus, they studied certain architypes of controls, like a volume knob or a physical volume slider. Based on this they began to define what the movements would mean. For example, pressing the index finger and thumb together would mean pressing a button, as if there was actually a button between the fingers. “The hand is the ultimate input device, extremely precise, fast. Capturing possibilities of human hand was one of my passions and apply it to the virtual world,” Ivan Poupyrev, Project Soli Founder, Google ATAP (Advanced Tech & Projects Group). The best part is, the entire radar can be shrunk and placed inside a tiny chip, extremely reliable with nothing to break, no moving parts, no lenses, only a piece of sand.
It looks like our world is slowly turning into the fantastical world of the Jetsons! Maybe their predictions weren’t so far off! This is a concept that definitely blows us away, and we can hardly wait for the outcome. It really is one of a kind, or is it? Sometime last year we had seen a project by a 23 year old Indian based in Kerala who promised the control of the entire digital world at our fingertips. In his words, “Everything is at our fingertips, not until now, not until FIN.” So, was Google really the first to crack this shell? Or was it our fellow Indian? Read the next article to know more about FIN.