Following 9to5Google’s report that Project Soli could debut with the Google Pixel 4, possible uses for the radar chip have emerged. Android Q already features code that describes an “Aware” sensor responsible for gestures to control music.
According to XDA this afternoon, Google has been working on gestures to “Skip” and “Silence” media since the first Android Q Beta in March. Beta 3 and 4 stepped up development, with these two new forms of control dependent on what is being referred to in code as an “Aware” sensor.
It’s far from clear if “Aware” will be the user-facing name for Soli in Android Q on the Pixel 4, but the two gestures are very much in line with the hands-free control made possible by the Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) project. One clear use could be to quickly jump to a new track or silence audio without having to unlock or even handle your phone.
In early concepts, the Google research group highlighted media controls as one obvious use for Soli. Given how frequently users interact with songs/videos everyday, this could get a lot of use and be a popular Pixel 4 feature.
On devices featuring the radar hardware, preferences will be available in the Settings app to control the functionality, like today’s Active Edge. XDA also notes a corresponding UI in the Android Q status bar, lockscreen, and always-on display (AOD). The functionality is not yet complete and likely cannot be enabled without the presence of “Aware,” but more details should be revealed as development progresses.
The public launch of Android Q is expected in Q3 2019 with two more preview releases before then. Even so, we’ll have to wait until October when flagships are typically announced and launched before getting our first hands-on with the Pixel 4’s Soli functionality on Android Q.
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