It’s been over a week since Google I/O, which is virtually forever in 24-hour-tech-news cycle years. However, there is one project featured by Google’s ATAP team where the hype’s simply not going away. Project Soli is new technology that is promising to change the future of wearables. [embed]https://youtu.be/0QNiZfSsPc0[/embed]
The main constraint on how small one can make a wearable device is no longer technology. Batteries, microchips and everything needed to strap a computer to your wrist is available in miniscule sizes, the concern currently is how will any of us interact with something so small. Scrolling and navigating on an Apple Watch already requires some degree of finesse. If something smaller were to be introduced onto the market we may just need thinner fingers to keep up with the times. Project Soli is a solution to this interaction.
Soli uses a small, but powerful radar field to read small hand movements, recognising gestures such as scrolling, flicking, and turning a knob. The Soli chip, which is about the size of a thumbnail, then communicates the information from the gesture to the device. By taking the interaction off the screen, Soli frees wearable devices from the constraints of finger nimbleness.
The new development could have ramifications for many future devices even outside of wearables. In the context of advancements in augmented and virtual reality, it could present a more intuitive way to interact with the virtual world.