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Google skipped Motion Sense on the Pixel 5, but it still has a future

Soli radar and Motion Sense gestures will make a comeback, Google has confirmed.

Published onOctober 1, 2020

google pixel 4 xl revisited motion sense
Oliver Cragg / Android Authority
  • Google will use the Pixel 4’s Soli radar and Motion Sense gestures in the future.
  • The company hasn’t confirmed if the tech is headed to phones.

Google is not done with its Soli radar chip and Motion Sense feature, even though it skipped them both on the Pixel 5. In an interview with The Verge, Google’s hardware chief Rick Osterloh said that Project Soli and Motion Sense gestures would return in the future.

Google introduced Motion Sense assisted by its Soli radar chip on the Pixel 4. The feature enables a bunch of hand gestures on the phone that allow you to control it without touching the screen. It may have seemed like a gimmick to some users, but our very own Jimmy Westenberg thought it a great addition.

The Soli chip also helped the Pixel 4 recognize your presence and quickly unlock the screen by engaging the necessary biometric sensors. Thanks to this, the Pixel 4 has one of the fastest face unlock systems in the market.

Also read: Soli on the Google Pixel 4: Here’s why it’s a good thing

The main problem was that the Pixel 4 could not be made available in many countries, including India, because of Soli. It requires access to the 60GHz mmWave frequency band which isn’t open for commercial use in many markets.

While Osterloh confirmed that the company would use the tech again in the future, he didn’t specify if it’ll appear on phones. However, a recent FCC filing suggests that Soli-based motion gestures could appear on an upcoming Nest Thermostat. Let’s wait and see what Google has in store.

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