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Friday, May 20, 2016

Google uses Infineon 60GHz radar for gesture interface

By Nick Flaherty

Two prototypes of products controlled exclusively through gestures via 60GHz radar have been demonstrated at the Google I/O conference in the US. Both devices - a smartwatch and a wireless speaker - can recognize gestures that replace switches or buttons. 

“Gesture sensing offers a new opportunity to revolutionize the human-machine interface by enabling mobile and fixed devices with a third dimension of interaction,” said Ivan Poupyrev, Technical Project Lead at Google ATAP. “This will fill the existing gap with a convenient alternative for touch- and voice controlled interaction.” 

Infineon and Google ATAP aim at addressing numerous markets with the “Soli” radar technology. Among these are home entertainment, mobile devices and the Internet of Things (IoT). Radar chips from Infineon as well as Google ATAP’s software and interaction concepts form the basis. Both companies are preparing for the joint commercialization of the “Soli” technology. “Sophisticated haptic algorithms combined with highly integrated and miniaturized radar chips can foster a huge variety of applications,” said Andreas Urschitz, President of the Power Management & Multimarket at Infineon,

In addition of their efforts in the audio and smartwatch markets, the developers’ ambitions are more comprehensive: “It is our target to create a new market standard with compelling performance and new user experience, creating a core technology for enablement of augmented reality and IoT,” said Urschitz. "While Virtual Reality technologies could already visualize new realities in the past, users could not interact with these so far. The 60 GHz radar application developed by Google and Infineon bridges the gap, as a key technology enabling Augmented Reality."

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