Project Soli: Your hands are the only interface you’ll need


Graphics Source: Project Soli

While randomly scrolling through tech videos on YouTube, I came across the video of Project Soli at Google Advanced Technology & Projects Group (ATPG).

This technology reminded me of early design ideas of Pranav Mistry called the sixth sense technology.

But I am curious to know more about this. How does it work? Let’s explore…

What is Project soli?

Project Soli is capturing actions by hand into the virtual world. It is a new sensing technology that uses miniature radar to detect touchless gesture interactions. The premise of this technology is that the hand is an ultimate input device. It is very natural for us to use it. Capturing the capabilities of the human hand is what Project Soli envisions.

How does it function?

Soli is a purpose-built interaction sensor that uses radar for motion tracking of the human hand.

Imagine how hand gestures work while clicking a button or sliding a screen, or rolling a dial.

It is pretty fascinating to see how this works. It works by emitting electromagnetic waves in a broad beam.

Objects within the beam scatter this energy, reflecting some portion back towards the radar antenna. Properties of the reflected signal, such as energy, time delay, and frequency shift capture rich information about the object’s characteristics and dynamics, including size, shape, orientation, material, distance, and velocity.

Soli tracks and recognizes dynamic gestures expressed by fine motions of the fingers and hand. In order to accomplish this with a single chip sensor, we developed a novel radar sensing paradigm with tailored hardware, software, and algorithms. Unlike traditional radar sensors, Soli does not require large bandwidth and high spatial resolution; in fact, Soli’s spatial resolution is coarser than the scale of most fine finger gestures. Instead, our fundamental sensing principles rely on motion resolution by extracting subtle changes in the received signal over time. By processing these temporal signal variations, Soli can distinguish complex finger movements and deforming hand shapes within its field.

Source: Project Soli

I think it has incredible possibilities. Well for simple use-cases could be a virtual AC remote control, a presentation slide changer, music volume rise or low controller. More exciting could be a musical instrument, passcode detector, fancy door opener and closer. I always imitate door opening and closing in lifts! Just for fun. This makes me believe I can actually do it for all doors! Ha! I believe this is amazing.

When I saw it, I immediately felt like signing up for it’s updates or maybe build applications for it! However, due to some error on a web page, I couldn’t sign up.. 😦 Well I will try again. But in case you know more about it, please share it here. Else what are your thoughts on this? Isn’t this too exciting?


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