The Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) is the one which is responsible for all the initiatives which are done inside Google. The company has initiated to creation of a radar-based method that provides feedback through the touch of your finger with Project Soli. On Monday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved a waiver which will allow Google to continue with Soli.
Project Soli was announced with other ATAP projects like Jacquard at Google I/O 2015, this new interaction method which is been newly introduced, doesn’t need a touchscreen, and as the radar could sense the motion of your fingers, it can also work in virtual space. Soli is capable of processing and capturing every fine movement as input from the radar beam emitted through a chip-sized object.
even though these controls are virtual, the interactions feel physical and responsive, as feedback is generated by the haptic sensation of fingers touching. Google says the virtual tools can approximate the precision of natural human hand motion and the sensor can be embedded in wearables, phones, computers, and vehicles. – The company
The users will have to bring their forefinger and thumb to tap a button or can also just tend to replicate the way a knob is turned, and a few other actions can be done like you can slide your thumb with an extended forefinger till the volume slider or you can curl that finger so that it becomes a flat surface.
“Google argued that the power levels in existing Commission’s rules are too restrictive to adequately enable Soli’s intended functions – resulting in user dissatisfaction due to missed motions and fewer effective interactions”.
Organizations like Facebook and others have also raised concerns with FCC that the higher power level can interfere with the existing technologies. These two companies signed an agreement back in the month of September. After this, Facebook agreed that the higher levels wouldn’t cause interference as Google toned down the power, and the request was made to the U.S. regulatory.
“To operate at higher power levels than currently allowed on December 31st, noting that Soli poses minimal potential of causing harmful interference and how it is in the public interest, we further find that grant of the waiver will serve the public interest by providing for innovative device control features using touchless hand gesture technology”.
The order by FCC permits the certification and marketing of Google’s Project Soli with allowed aircraft usage.
This Project Soli will be very much beneficial for smartwatches as it would allow the interaction to get greater on the devices, which always have a very small surface area for input. Google also explained how this project could benefit the users with some tactile impairments, mobility, and speech.