Will Touchscreen Be A Thing Of The Past?

Google's all new gesture-based technology

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Project Soli is a small sensor that recognizes gestures and is radar enabled, so that in the future, in order to interact with our devices, we won’t even have to touch them.

From the makers of Google’s Project Ara (the first modular phones) and Project Tango (3D images on your mobile devices), comes the newest innovation: Project Soli.

The new experiment has the potential to completely transform our interaction with our smart tech, because Project Soli is a small sensor that recognizes gestures and is radar enabled, so that in the future, in order to interact with our devices, we won’t even have to touch them.

Introduced last Friday at Google’s I/O developer conference, Soli has a similar concept to Leap Motion and other gesture-based controllers. Basically the sensor tracks the movements on your hands which then input the control into the device. During the demo at Google I/O, Ivan Poupyrev, Soli’s founder, illustrated how the sensor will recognize gestures and would allow people to control their smartwatch without ever touching the display.

While other motion controllers are dependant on cameras, Soli is equipped with radar, which allows it to track movements at a higher speed and accuracy, even the “sub-millimeter motions”. The radar means that even the smallest movement is detected, so large, exaggerated gestures that cameras manage are now a thing of the past.

This also means that Soli can stay tiny - small enough to fit into any chip that is incorporated to any device (wearables or otherwise).

Project Soli will be available to developers, so that they can help build applications and utilize the technology to its full advantages - but Google hasn’t yet said when.