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Pixel 4 with solos: Google confirms radar operation and Face Unlock

Pixel 4 mit Soli: Google bestätigt Radar-Bedienung und Face Unlock

Pixel 4 with solos: Google confirms radar operation and Face Unlock
Image: Google

Once again, Google is officially speaking far ahead of the announcement of the Pixel 4's equipment, after Google had previously confirmed the design of the back side of the official website. As already suspected, the smartphone uses the radar technology with the development name “Project Soli” for handling with hand gestures.

Due to the comparatively wide frame above the display had already been suspected that Google will install in the Pixel 4 radar technology called solos, to allow the operation of the smartphone via hand gestures. Google has officially confirmed this assumption today and revealed further details about the features of the smartphone, which will probably be presented in October, provided that Google adheres to a schedule similar to that of Pixel 3.

Google states that it has spent five years working with the Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) team on Project Soli to integrate the miniature version of a radar into the upper part of Pixel 4. The Pixel 4 is to be the first smartphone with Soli technology, whereby Google marketed the operation via hand gestures as a “Motion Sense”.

Motion Sense controls music, alarm clock and more

For example, Motion Sense is designed to switch between songs, snooze the alarm, or mute calls without touching the screen of the smartphone. In a new teaser to the Pixel 4 Google briefly goes into the new features. These features should be just the beginning, Google wants to improve and develop Motion Sense over time. Which features can still be realized with Project Soli, Google has not revealed.

Sensor Armada for Face Unlock

In the area above the display, however, more than the radar chip for Project Soli is installed. Pixel 4 will also put Google on Face Unlock to unlock the smartphone after it has been used by other vendors for some time, though not always at the same level of security. Only a few manufacturers rely on a sophisticated system of IR camera and point projector, but rely only on a 2D photo of the user.

Sensors for Project Soli and Face Unlock in Pixel 4
Sensors for Project Soli and Face Unlock in Pixel 4 (Image: Google)

Google, however, proposes the safe path of a whole sensor Armada, as it does Apple at Face ID since the iPhone X. Face Unlock works on Google with two IR cameras, a point projector and a flood illuminator. The soli-chip should already activate the sensors required for Face Unlock when they reach for the smartphone, so that the smartphone can be unlocked immediately after lifting. An additional swipe gesture should not be necessary, Google speaks of a fluid movement and instantaneous unlock. Face Unlock should work from almost any angle, even if the smartphone is turned upside down. The system is also designed to secure payment with Google Pay, for example.

Google stores data in the Titan M chip

Google assures that all face unlock information is stored offline on the smartphone in the Titan M chip and is not shared with any Google services or uploaded to the cloud. Also at Apple are the Face ID data in the Secure Enclave and should not leave the smartphone according to the manufacturer at any time.

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