Google’s radar-based motion sensor gets FCC approval

Google Inc. has won approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for its radar-based motion sensor known as Project Soli.

On Monday, the FCC granted Google a waiver that allows them to operate miniature radar-based motion sensors at a higher power level than previously permitted.

FCC approval

“We further find that grant of the waiver will serve the public interest by providing for innovative device control features using touchless hand gesture technology,” the FCC wrote in a statement.

The FCC also said that Project Soli sensors rely on radar technology to capture motion within a three-dimensional space by using a radar beam to allow touchless control which can benefit people with a range of language or communication difficulties.

Soli sensors allow users to use a wide range of motion interact with devices without having to physically touch the screen.

In a video on Googles website, Google said that users could, for example, rub their thumb and index finger together to operate a smartwatch or a smart speaker.

Radar-based motion sensor power usage

Back in March last year, Google filed a waiver asking the FCC to allow the Soli radar to operate in the 57-to 64-GHz frequency band at power levels consistent with European Telecommunications Standards Institute standards.

Facebook, however, had raised concerns with the FCC that the Soli sensors operating at higher power levels could interfere with other Soli devices.

After discussions, Google and Facebook presented the FCC with a joint statement saying that they both agreed that the sensors could operate at a higher level without interference but at a lower level than previously suggested by Google.

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