Google first talked about Project Soli in Google I/O 2015, and although the tech sounded promising, we didn’t hear much about it after that. Sure, there were several projects that Google initiated with the idea of implementation of Project Soli, but for unknown reasons, they never made it to the market. Well, that’s about to change. Google has confirmed that Project Soli is coming to the Pixel 4.

Soli_Pixel_4_top-sensorsIt’s unusual for tech companies to reveal product features before the product is officially announced. But it looks like, Google couldn’t wait for the launch event of the Pixel 4.

The Product manager behind the pixel 4, Brandon Barbello, has published a detailed article on how the Soli radar chip works. There’s also an image detailing all the sensors that are placed on the top of the Pixel 4.

Google is getting rid of the notch with the Pixel 4, and it’s clear why Google went back with bezel on the top. Here is the list of components that are placed on the top of the phone:

  • Face Unlock IR Camera
  • Front Facing Camera
  • Ambient Light Sensor
  • Proximity Sensor
  • Face unlock Flood Illuminator
  • Audio driver
  • Soli Radar Chip
  • Face Unlock Dot Projector
  • Face unlock IR camera

That’s a lot of components that Google is putting in Pixel 4. And with this hardware, Google believes that they can change the way we fundamentally use our smartphone.

Face Unlock At Its Finest

In the list above, you may have noticed that I have typed Face Unlock IR Camera twice. It’s not a mistake. Just as we have two eyes for a wide viewing angle, Google has used two IR cameras on either side to improve viewing coverage.

Thanks to Google’s powerful software and the use of two cameras, you will be able to unlock the phone without having to lift it to your face. Not only that, you will be able to unlock the phone using the sensors irrespective of the orientation of the phone.

And it keeps getting better. When you approach near your phone, Soli will detect you, and turn on the face unlock sensors. Then,  Google’s algorithm kicks in and unlocks the phone. All of this happens seamlessly in one motion.

Motion Sensing

This is the prime feature that Project Soli will introduce to the Pixel 4. Soli, a motion-sensing radar, and Google’s software algorithm will enable you to interact with the phone hands-free.

When I talk of using the phone hands-free, I know a lot of you have LG G8 ThinQ’s hand-gestures in mind.

Don’t confuse it with LG’s implementation. LG relied solely on the front-camera for the feature to work. Google uses the front camera and IR camera in conjunction with Soli radar chip for the feature to work.

Also, I don’t think I need to mention that Google’s software algorithm is way better than that of LG’s.

You will be able to change tracks, snooze your alarm, change photos, skip songs, and even silence calls just by waving your hands.

But Google says these features are just the beginning. This Medium article explains what Project Soli is capable of in detail. You will be amused with what all you can do with that tiny sensor on the top of the Pixel phone.