Google may have stripped Soli from smartphones with the Pixel 5, but it’s working at putting it to better use with other products. An FCC listing already leaked the upcoming Nest Hub with a Soli chip, but a new report from 9to5Google adds a little more detail to the story of the chip’s inclusion.
Citing sources close to the matter, 9to5Google reports that the Soli radar technology would be used to power sleep tracking in this nest hub. Smart displays like this are often used as alarm clocks and bedroom speakers, so using Soli to help users track their sleep could stand out as a unique selling point.
It’s a step up from what Google used Soli for in the Pixel 4, allowing users to change tracks and pause music by hovering over the screen — very cool but not very practical for a phone. 9to5Google speculates that Google could also enable such gestures on a smart display. The difference in this would be that smart displays are also used in the kitchen or at other times where your hand could be wet, making hover gestures more practical.
As for when Google could launch this new smart display, it could do so at Google I/O, usually set to take place around May. It could also do so at the now annual late summer #madebygoogle event.
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