IoT and radar technology highlights from Google I/O 2015
The Moscone Center in San Francisco has just delivered yet another Google I/O conference to its around 5000 participants. Major highlights were the usual suspects of the new release of the Android operating system - Android M, as well as upgrades to many tools and applications within the mobile phone ecosystem.
For those of us with a keen eye for the embedded technologies, it was refreshing to see Google take an official stab at the Internet of Things pie by launching Project Brillo and the Weave program. Project Brillo is an IoT optimized operating system based on Android, but with a greatly throttled back consumption of device resources such as memory. The Weave program is possibly even more interesting, as it promises a common way for Internet-connected devices to talk to each other. Much like Apple's HomeKit, this is a much-awaited standardization that can make the IoT revolution happen.
Digging deeper into the sessions, one development clearly stands out - Project Soli. Project Soli deploys radar technology as an interaction sensor. It is Google's Advanced Technology and Projects LAB that have researched using radar technology in the 60GHz band to track finger gestures - that in turn can be used instead of a touch screen on your phone or smart watch. A very refreshing view on how to use radar technology as an incredibly intuitive user interface. The few details available at the moment is that the chip implemented is a MIMO system with 2 transmitters and 4 receivers, and a field of view up to 180 degrees.
As pointed out by Project Soli's founder, Ivan Poupyrev, the great thing about radar technology is that there are no moving parts, it can work through materials and it is extremely reliable. Get inspired by the movie linked below and buy a XeThru Inspiration Kit to get a head start on the next big thing in interacting with the human.