Google will start shipping development kits for its Project Soli wireless gesture recognition technology later this year.
Project Soli involves a millimeter-wave radar chip that can detect “very fine” gestures with fingers and hands. It can then be used for playing games using hand gestures on mobile devices, computers and electronics.
The technology has the potential to get rid of controllers and input devices. Its biggest impact could be in virtual and augmented reality. When using VR headsets, users now need to hold controllers, but Project Soli could allow hand gesture movement to define how a user roams a virtual world.
The chip is so tiny that Google has put it in devices as small as smartwatches. It was jointly developed by Google with Infineon, which has said the technology will be marketed by both companies later this year.