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Home / Technology / According to reports, a radar-based sleep tracking Google smart display is under development

According to reports, a radar-based sleep tracking Google smart display is under development



The current Google Nest Hub.
enlarge / The current Google Nest Hub.

If you want to get rid of the buzzwords of high-tech products, “Sleep Tracking Smart Display” may sound like something you came up with, but this is the latest Google product rumor on 9to5Google that is always reliable. Earlier this week, a new Nest product was equipped with Project Soli on the FCC. After some digging, 9to5 sources said it was used for the Nest Nest smart display with sleep tracking function. I think the idea here is to scan you with radar waves when you sleep with the alarm clock beside the bed.

The Project Soli support shown in the FCC file is a tiny radar chip developed within Google for gesture sensing. The chip has been developed by Google̵

7;s ATAP Group for at least six years, but has not yet achieved commercial success. The original promise was that Soli was able to detect fine finger movements, such as tapping a button or turning a dial virtually, but the commercial model never achieved this fidelity. Soli debuted on the Pixel 4, it can only detect large hand movements, which is enough to prevent it from appearing on the Pixel 5. It is currently used in the new Nest thermostat, but can only replace it. The old motion sensor does not seem to provide any new or improved functions.

Google’s partners have already proposed the idea of ​​using the Google Assistant smart display as a bedside alarm clock, especially in Lenovo’s Smart Clock, but Google itself has not done this. Some of Google’s smart displays are equipped with cameras for video calls and facial recognition, but it’s easy to imagine that consumers don’t want to put the camera in the bedroom. Soli radar allows Google to track user activity without seeing the creepy details. Nowadays, Google smart displays and speakers use ultrasonic sonar for some basic state detection, but Soli may provide higher fidelity.

The Project Soli aerial gestures for Pixel 4 seem to be more useful on smart displays than mobile phones. Pixel 4 can detect the beating music of the arm or open the hand to stop the alarm. These are not particularly useful, because the phone is almost always by your side and can provide a more precise touch screen within reach, but what about a smart display? Since the smart display can be seen from the entire room and is not carried with you, you are more likely to interact with it from a distance. If the Nest Hub version of Soli has any scope, some form of gestures for content control may be useful.

It is not clear why consumers want Google to track their sleep patterns. Sleep tracking is mainly the field of fitness trackers and smart watches, and Google no longer really competes in these fields. Google has a smart watch platform Wear OS, but it’s basically dead. The last major update of Wear OS was in 2018. Google recently cancelled the closest thing to Wear OS and the killer app-Google Fit’s weight training. Google is currently clearing its acquisition of Fitbit with regulators, but Fitbit is not the winner of wearable devices. It is an early promoter of the fitness tracking trend, but due to the emergence of competitors, its market share has fallen to single digits, with Xiaomi and Apple both at the top of the list. If Google cannot perform sleep tracking through a viable fitness platform, then I think smart alarm clocks will be the next best choice.

9to5Google said: “The new Nest Nest with Soli will be available this year,” “It is reported that it will arrive sooner or later.” The website also pointed out that the confidentiality request in the FCC file that began the investigation will expire in July, so the We may learn more about this product before this.


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