the future of Soli for smart displays / tablets and the shopping sprees for Pixel Buds


In a constantly evolving world such as that of technology, one cannot stand still and watch. Google knows it well that, through its countless research and development teams, is working on numerous solutions to further improve its smart displays and tablets, as well as having made important investments to make its headphones unique. Pixel Buds: real “future proofs” by Google.

Let’s find out, in detail, the latest moves of Googlefocusing separately on the two topics.

Google ATAP imagines the future of smart displays and tablets equipped with Soli radars

The group ATAP (Advanced Technology and Projects) by Google showed the world new potential uses of Soli radar on the products of the future.

Taking a step back, the Soli radar had been used on Google Pixel 4, to improve face unlock and gesture control, but it was no longer implemented on a smartphone starting from the Pixel 5. Today the Soli radar is used on two Google smart home devices: on the Nest Hub and on the Nest thermostat.

The ATAP Group imagined theuse of Soli radar in many other devices of the future, reaffirming the goal of creating intelligent devices that understand the social context, controllable by the gesture of a hand or the movement of the head. Below, an excerpt from the thought:

As human beings, we understand each other intuitively, without saying a single word. We collect social signals, subtle gestures that we innately understand and to which we react. What if computers understood us this way?

The company showed gods conceptlet’s see what it is:

  • A square-shaped wall-mounted smart display mounted near the front door of a house, which changes the information shown (in terms of text size) depending on whether or not there are people around.
  • A slightly larger square smart display that notifies messages and, turning to look at it, shows the complete text, and then returns to the previous screen (in this case, the song being played).
  • A smart display / tablet, designed for the kitchen, which stops playing a video (perhaps a recipe) when you move away, or which automatically answers a video call when you approach the device.

These concepts shown, seem to use the e-ink technology (it is still a mockup). How close are they to reality? Hard to say. What is certain is that on Nest Hub there is already ultrasound detection that senses the distance to a subject, to zoom in or out on the elements on the user interface or switch to the home screen when approaching.

Google: Spending Spree to Further Improve Its Pixel Buds

Google has so far presented three models of true wireless headphones, namely Google Pixel Buds, Pixel Buds 2, Pixel Buds Aprobably without ever receiving the hoped-for success.

In recent times Google has moved under the radar, investing a lot (perhaps too much), making real “crazy expenses” to improve its offer relating to the world of audio products, and also to react to the recent defeats suffered by Sonos, following the violation of some patents, which he forced Google to give up some features on their smart speakers.

Below, we report the (known) investments made by Google in order to acquire intellectual property and patents congenial to the development of audio products, spotted by the portal Protocol:

  • Acquisition of an entire Synaptics team for $ 35 million: With this deal, Google has earned major hardware patents (including patents for active noise-canceling headphones), including staff and Synaptics’ vice president of audio, who now serves as product manager for Google. .
  • Acquisition of the startup Dysonics and its 3D spatial audio technology.
  • Acquisition of intellectual property from the defunct startup RevX Technologies, a company capable of creating a device to optimize in-ear monitors for musicians, from which Google has, also in this case, recovered patents on noise cancellation. Following the agreement, RevX CTO Dennis Rauschmayer works for Google as an “algorithm architect”.
  • Acquisition of the French startup Tempow for 17.4 million dollars: Tempow was working on building the first true wireless headset operating system. Most Tempow employees moved to Google following the deal.
  • Recruitment of Peter Liu, former engineer from Bose, which played an active role in the development of the Bluetooth LE standard.

Other clues as to whether Google is working on something big come from Google itself which has posted various job advertisements targeting it, including one for running an experimental acoustics laboratory in Irvine, California; Google is also looking for people to develop ad hoc silicon for audio products.

We don’t know exactly what Google actually has in the pipeline but it is legitimate to think and expect that, after these “crazy expenses”, an ambitious device may arrive, perhaps the much discussed Google Pixel Buds 3 or an even higher-end device, given that the current proposal stops at the economic ones Pixel Buds A: the times would seem ripe.

You may also be interested in: The best true wireless headphones

Read also: Here’s what’s new in Google’s March 2022 system update

Leave a Comment