At Google I/O, representatives from ATAP, the Advanced Technology and Projects Group, demonstrated Project Soli. The goal of Project Soli is to solve the long-standing problem of providing input when keyboards, mice and even touch screens are inconvenient. With Project Soli, you move your hands and fingers in the air and a very small device detects and responds to familiar motions.
Rethinking the keyboard and mouse
You move your hands and fingers in the air and a very small device detects and responds to familiar motions
ATAP representative Ivan Poupyrev introduced a chip that’s small enough to fit into a wristwatch and uses radar to detect small hand motions. (Emitting radar signals with hardware this size is a significant technical challenge.) In an impressive demo, the chip sensed the nearness of a person’s hand, sensed hand rotations, and sensed when Popyrev rubbed his index finger against his thumb at different speeds. When combined with machine intelligence, the device controlled two different parts of a watch face, scrolling the hours display and the minutes display independently on demand. Poupyrev wowed the audience by playing a pong-like soccer game using only simple figure gestures – gestures made in the air near the Soli chip.
The ATAP group plans to release the Project Soli API to developers later this year.
What non-trivial applications do you envision for Project Soli? Let us know.