Last month, Google did the impossible and self-leaked the crucial design details of the Pixel 4 lineup. The silicon valley tycoon turned tables on the hyped keynote events of the yesteryears. Ever since then we had scoured the web for tiniest of the details surrounding the Google flagship 2019. In it, we had previewed a cutting edge tech called Project Soli, among everything else you need to know. And guess what, we weren’t wrong as Google has confirmed the use of Soli for Face Unlock and Motion Sense gesture actions in Pixel 4.
Project Soli: What is it?
Project Soli is the in-house creation of Google’s research company ATAP (Advanced Technology and Projects unit). It is the next step in the world of ambient computing, wherein you can use your hand and finger gestures for a contact-less interaction with your device. Cool and futurism, eh?
Conceptually, its a miniature form of Radar technology used in planes to detect other planes and large objects as well as in autonomous vehicles. It was designed initially for smart-watches, smaller devices and to benefit people with disabilities. So, it’s been in works for the last 5 years and Google has widened the umbrella for a wider audience. It will thus be housed on Pixel 4’s fascia.
In the above illustration, you could see the various sensors and itsy bitsy units located atop the display. The Soli Radar chip will sense your proximity and react to various gestures using the advanced algorithms. With each iteration, the tech reacts better to slight movements and the power consumption also gets minimized.
Project Soli based Face Unlock
Moving ahead from the tech and fluff, let’s now get into the features:
You may feel a Face ID Déjà vu with this new face recognition and unlock mechanism.
In Pixel 4, Soli senses your face in any orientation, as soon as you pick up, in one-go motion. Google says it skips the cumbersome process of lifting the device all the way up, posing in a certain way, and waiting for it to unlock.
Project Soli Uses: Motion Sense
Google announces Pixel 4 to be the first device with Soli technology and amidst the various use case scenarios, Motion Sense is a key highlight. Thanks to this new feature, you should be able to skip songs, snooze alarms, and mute phone calls, with a simple wave of the hand. Google envisions more features in the forthcoming period, as the tech will evolve.
Alas! Motion Sense will be available in select Pixel countries only.
Security and Privacy with Soli
Google reveals that the tech lets you use it for secure payments and app authentication too. And it assures of face data safety as the data never leaves the device. All recognition and resulting processing will be done in the device. It will be stored in Pixel’s Titan M security chip, not in Google Services. Phew!
All these looks promising for sure. However, we will hold our judgment until our in-hand experience with the Pixel 4 phones. The new Pixels are expected to launch in October.