London, June 29 (IANS) Forget touch screens and buttons, now you can control gadgets through hand gestures made in thin air, thanks to Google’s new invention.
The Project Soli system identifies subtle finger movements using radar built into tiny microchips and is so precise that it works on even the smallest of displays, Daily Mail reported.
The leading researcher told Mail Online that his team’s breakthrough will be a complete ‘game changer’.
“Using a tiny, microchip-based radar to track hand movements, we can now track the minute movements and twitches of the human hand to interact with computers and wearable devices,” Ivan Poupyrev, who heads a team of designers and developers at Google’s secretive Advanced Technology and Projects lab in San Francisco, said.
Project Soli uses invisible radar emanating from a microchip to recognise finger movements. It works using the 60Ghz radar spectrum at up to 10,000 frames per seconds.
These movements are then translated into commands that mimic touches on a screen.
The chips, developed with German manufacturer Infineon, are small enough to be embedded into wearables and other devices.
The biggest challenge was to shrink a shoebox-sized radar — as is used by police in speed traps — into something tiny enough to fit on a microchip.
Poupyrev’s team shrank the components of a radar down to millimetres in just 10 months. Such radar-embedded chips are now ready for mass production, according to Poupyrev.
“It is incredible how simple Soli is. There are no camera tracking … you can put it anywhere you want,” he said.
“It can be part of the furniture, part of cars, a wearable computer, a watch, toys — anywhere people want to connect with devices, it will be useful.”
Soli technology could also help people to interact with objects in virtual reality (VR) worlds and games.