Google radar-based hand sensor technology approved by FCC

January 02, 2019 // By Wisse Hettinga
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allows approval for Google’s radar-based hand motion sensor.

Soli sensor technology 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 recognises dynamic gestures expressed by fine motions of the fingers and hand.

In order to accomplish this with a single chip sensor, the company 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, its 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.

Currently there is no other product on the market with comparable precision and detection range, says the company. The use of 60 GHz allows for a resolution of 20 mm. With additional algorithms, the solution operates with sub-mm resolution.

The approval allows Google to develop new touch-less technologies at higher power levels than currently approved. The technology, jointly developed by Infineon and Google Atap (Advanced Technology and Projects Group) allows touch-less gesture control.

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