Google’s Pixel 4 Will Have Built-In Radar Chip for Gesture Control and May Include Health Features

Google Pixel 4 gesture control
Image: Google

Google showed off its Pixel 4’s “Motion Sense” features at the Made By Google unveiling event in New York City. Using gestures users can silence calls, skip tracks, and even interact with the Pokémon Pikachu, all without touching the phone.

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Google announced Project Soli back in 2015. The Soli chip uses a small radar sensor to monitor the movements of your hand. With the Pixels, users will be able to wave their hands at the device to control it. The chip will also be used to predict certain actions before users even tell the phone to carry them out.

“Pixel 4 has the fastest secure face unlock on a smartphone, because the process starts before you’ve even picked up your phone,” said Sabrina Ellis, Director of Product at Google.

“Motion Sense prepares the camera when you reach for your Pixel 4 so you don’t need to tap the screen.”

Wireless ear buds
Google also announced wireless Pixel Buds (Image: Google)

Health Applications

While Pixel 4 announcement wasn’t around health, it had a quick reference to “personal wellness” as part of Google’s future plans for the technology. But health applications could be around the corner, reports MobiHealthNews.

“Radar’s been around for a long time and it’s still one of the best ways to sense motion. It’s precise, it’s low-power, and it’s fast. … But radar sensors have always been way too big to fit in a phone. So we shrank it down into a tiny chip,” Ellis said at the event. “The Soli team is working on a wide range of helpful new features, from gaming to personal wellness.”

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Last year, University of Waterloo researchers described a proof-of-concept system that uses Google’s Soli to track concentrations of glucoses within a solution. With further improvement, this technology could be used in diabetes management where patients can manage their blood glucose levels in a noninvasive and novel way.

Now, out of the box a Pixel 4 may not have the ability to noninvasively monitor blood glucose, it shows the potential of the underlying technology, according to MobiHealthNews report.