Earlier this week, Google shocked everyone by sharing photos of its upcoming Pixel 4 smartphone several months ahead of the device’s expected October release. After images of the smartphone were posted by Google, countless rumors began circulating, including the possibility that the Pixel 4 will come equipped with a new chip that has never been seen in any other Android device or any of Apple’s iPhones, according to a report from BGR.
This new technology is a part of Google’s Project Soli, which was originally introduced at Google I/O in 2015. The project was later revisited during a demonstration at Google I/O 2016, according to a report from 9to5Google. During the demonstration, the company showed the Soli “chip embedded in a Wear OS smartwatch for interface control and the smart speaker integration made it possible to simply wave at the speaker to tell it to stop playing.”
“Project Soli tracks movements with a tiny radar to give devices the ability of recognizing human gestures and then trigger corresponding responses,” BGR further explained.
This means, by implementing this technology into its device, Google will be allowing users the option to interact with the smartphone without having to actually touch the phone’s screens or any physical buttons located on the device. There has also been quite a bit of supporting information for this rumor. Recently, XDA Developers discovered evidence of new skip and silencing gestures being developed for Android Q, which could be linked to Soli. The code found by XDA Developers also suggests the new feature could be referred to as “Aware” for Google’s users.
This wouldn’t be the first time a tech company has tried to implement air gesture features into a smartphone — there has been the LG G8 and others — but this is the first time it’s being done using the Soli radar chip, according to a report from Android Police.
Google is also rumored to be working to release a new iteration of the Google Home this year along with a smartwatch, and it’s believed gesture-based control via the Soli chip could be a differentiating factor in those new products. But while Google is looking to differentiate its products with new software, one thing that isn’t different is the Pixel 4’s design when compared to the rumored design of Apple’s upcoming iPhone XR/iPhone 11.
Apple is expected to eliminate the oval camera bump, which is currently found on the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, and replace it with a large rounded square with three cameras placed in a triangular pattern, as previously reported by The Inquisitr. And based on the recently released images, it seems Google will be opting for a similar design for its Pixel 4.