The Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group is responsible for experimental initiatives inside Google. With Project Soli, the company set out to create a radar-based input method that provides the tactile feedback of interacting with your fingers. The FCC on Monday approved a waiver for Soli’s higher-than-normal frequencies, thus permitting certification and allowing Google to continue Soli as intended.
project soli Stories January 1
project soli Stories November 10, 2016
Google first introduced us to Project Soli last year as miniature radar hardware that allows gesture control of devices. Earlier this year, it somehow managed to squeeze the tech into a smartwatch. A research team from Scotland has now expanded Soli’s smarts, allowing the radar to identify objects as well as gestures, putting it into a device it calls RadarCat.
We have used the Soli sensor, along with our recognition software to train and classify different materials and objects, in real time, with very high accuracy […] Our studies include everyday objects and materials, transparent materials and different body parts.
While this work was previewed at Google I/O earlier this year, the team has now made the full paper available, together with a longer video, below …
project soli Stories May 21, 2016
At Google I/O 2016, the Mountain View company decided — although admittedly not an entirely new theme — that it would be a good idea to spread its announcements across three days. The keynote showed off Google’s vision for the future: virtual reality, its new AI and machine learning initiatives, Google Home hardware to take advantage of them, and a few sprinkles of Android Wear 2.0 goodness. The second day saw the announcement of the Play Store coming to Chrome OS.
But the third day was ATAP day, admittedly my favorite day of Google I/O. Last year the Advanced Technologies and Projects group at Google showed off Project Jacquard, Project Soli, some more details on Project Ara, and more. And then the company went silent. For pretty much an entire year.
Maybe that’s a good thing, as Google tends to show its projects and technologies off a little early in general. It’s not exactly out of Google’s character to show a product or service, say that it’s coming in 6 months, it not arrive for 12 months or 18 months, and then the final product share hardly any resemblance to what was originally announced. Admittedly that’s happening with some of ATAP’s projects either way (I’m looking at you, Ara), but at least it’s not a constant barrage of teases and false hope.
Anyway, Google ATAP finally came out of hiding on the third day of I/O yesterday, and with it came updates on Project Jacquard, Project Soli, Project Ara, and Spotlight Stories. Jacquard brought the announcement of the first retail product based on the tech, Ara brought a little update on how progress is coming including the most current prototype device with new module connectors (and promise of a dev kit coming soon), and the Spotlight Stories mention came with some progress in VR storytelling. All cool stuff.
But Soli is what makes my jaw drop.
project soli Stories May 20, 2016
project soli Stories March 31, 2016
Alphabet, obviously, has a lot of mainstream products that bring in a huge amount of revenue. Google’s ads business is clearly the front runner by a long shot, but there’s also Android, its hardware offerings (like the Nexus line, OnHub, etc.), Play Store digital content, as well as revenue from subsidiary companies like Nest (er.. Dropcam?), Google Fiber, and others.
But what usually excites people the most at Alphabet are the company’s moonshots under the umbrella of “X” — projects that usually cost hoards of money to keep alive and bring in nothing (or next to nothing) in return. The self-driving car project, Project Loon for worldwide internet, Project Titan drones, Makani‘s wind turbines, and Project Wing air-delivery are just a few, but there are even more exciting projects that have “graduated” to be their own unit at the company.
Google has often I/O as a showcase for its favorite moonshots. The company’s huge Google Glass extravaganza from 2012 is the most obvious example that comes to mind, but the company has used the stage at I/O to introduce to the world some just-as-exciting technologies with much less fanfare. Google ATAP, for example, gave a separate keynote at I/O 2015 introducing a handful of projects arguably more exciting than the things Google announced on the main stage. Technically not the same as the “moonshots” in the X division, but they’re in the same category in my opinion.
While you might be familiar with some the following projects (and that wouldn’t surprise me, considering they’ve all already been announced), they’re all ambitious experiments that have been recognized, announced, and made public-facing, but have since dropped off the radar; a lot of them have gone dormant, at least from our perspective. These are projects that excite me, and I want to hear what’s new with them come next month’s developer conference in Mountain View…
project soli Stories May 29, 2015
We told you yesterday that Google’s ATAP team is working on a couple new projects dubbed Soli and Jacquard, and today the group of self-proclaimed “pirates” came out to officially announce (and demo) them both on stage at their much-anticipated Google I/O session. They’re both about reimagining how we interact with technology, but both projects attempt to do so in different ways… expand full story