Today, Google offered an early glimpse of the features of its next flagship device – the Pixel 4. The smartphone will come with Motion Sense and Face Unlock features.
For the past five years, Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects team (ATAP) has been working on Soli, a motion-sensing radar. Radar, of course, is the same technology that has been used for decades to detect planes and other large objects. For the Pixel 4, Google has developed a miniature version of this technology, which is located at the top of Pixel 4. It senses small motions around the phone, combining unique software algorithms with the advanced hardware sensor, to recognise gestures and detect when you’re nearby.
The Pixel 4 will be the first device with Soli, which will allow you to skip songs, snooze alarms, and silence phone calls just by waving your hand. These capabilities are just a start. This means that this feature will evolve with the evolution of the Pixel. Motion Sense will be only available in select countries.
While the face-unlock feature is already available in various smartphones, Google’s version has been engineered a little differently. Other phones require you to lift the device all the way up, position it in a certain way, wait for it to unlock, and, then, swipe to get to the home screen. The Pixel 4 does all of that in a much more streamlined way. As you reach for Pixel 4, Soli proactively turns on the face unlock sensors, recognising that you may want to unlock your phone. If the face-unlock sensors and algorithms recognise you, the phone will open as you pick it up, all in one motion. The face unlock works in almost any orientation, even if you're holding it upside down. You can use it for secure payments and app authentication too.
Google says that the images used for face unlock are never saved or shared with other Google services. To protect your privacy and security, your face data is securely stored in the Pixel's Titan M security chip. Similarly, Soli sensor data is also processed on your phone, and it’s never saved or shared with other Google services.