Editors' Choice

Your Hand Gestures Will Be Able To Control Devices

Shelby Chau / February 16, 2017

We’ve all seen sci-fi movies with the coolest advanced technology, and it’d be a dream to see these come into reality, like the scene from the movie Minority Report, with Tom Cruise navigating through files, documents and media using hand gestures.



Though Minority Report was a 2002 sci-fi film, Google is helping make technology like that a reality with Google ATAP, their advanced technology and projects group. Founder, Ivan Poupyrev and his team have been working on Project Soli, who envision a future where humans can use their hands as devices to control and interact with technology.



Project Soli uses an advanced radar technology, similar to that which is used to track satellites, planes and cars to detect hand gestures as actual virtual controls. This radar technology, however, has been shrunk to a human scale, and fits all in a tiny chip.


In the video below are some examples of the technology at work in different consumer products using the same chip.



Each chip, built with sensors and a radar, can detect the tiniest movements and other motions. The idea behind this is for the chip to interpret human intent and recognize actions made by your hands as you interact with technology.


With these chips embedded in things like wearables, cars, computers, and phones, you’ll be able to control these devices without needing to touch the actual devices, since your hands become the actual interface.


Here’s an in-depth look at Project Soli in the video below.



Project Soli explored the human hand and wanted to optimize the hand’s precision, speed, finesse, and capability, and apply it virtually. The many archetypes of controls in our every day routines, such as knobs, buttons and sliders, inspired much of the capability, so that you’d essentially be pushing invisible buttons and turning knobs in thin air.


Though these touch-less controls are virtual, the interactions are physical and responsive, and they’ve been developed to be extremely accurate, and able to respond at high speeds.


There are already prototypes of different consumer products with the embedded chip able to read hand gestures, but it’ll be just a matter of time before it really kicks off and explodes into our everyday life. I can’t wait to be able to access my computer like Tom Cruise in Minority Report.



Featured image via Project Soli