Google's Pixel 4 could have the Project Soli chip

Sensors would allow users to operate their handsets via hand gestures.

Corinne Reichert Senior Writer
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
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Corinne Reichert
2 min read

The Pixel 4 could be getting gesture control.

Angela Lang/CNET

Google's Pixel 4 phone -- recently confirmed by Google, for reasons we can only speculate -- could come equipped with the tech giant's Project Soli chip, according to a report. Project Soli, Google's radar-based motion sensors, would allow users to operate phones via hand gestures.

Google had unveiled Project Soli at I/O back in 2016 with a video showing how people could use the technology to control their smartwatch and smart speakers by moving your hand and fingers.

9to5Google reported on Tuesday it had heard that the Project Soli chip is being integrated into the upcoming Pixel 4 flagship phone.

Watch this: Google's Project Soli: Controlling devices using hand gestures​

In December 2018, Google was granted approval by the Federal Communications Commission to deploy and operate the Project Soli sensors at high power levels and aboard aircraft.

Google had applied for the waiver in March 2018, with the sensor allowing Google to capture motion in a 3D space using a radar beam. This enables the touchless control of devices.

"Grant of the waiver will serve the public interest by providing for innovative device control features using touchless hand gesture technology," Julius Knapp, the FCC's chief of Engineering and Technology, wrote in the order at the time.

Commentary: Pixel 4 leak signals a whole new Google

Watch this: Project Soli: The best thing we saw at Google I/O 2016

Google didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Google's upcoming Pixel 4 smartphone is also rumored to have a square camera module on the back of the phone as well as  a notch, two speaker grills on the edge at either side of the USB-C port, volume and power on the right-hand side of the phone. It will reportedly lack a fingerprint scanner and buttons on the left side.

The Pixel 4 is rumored to launch in October, and will likely run Android Q . It could also be bezel-less, have a hole-punch screen, two rear cameras for four cameras in total and improved dual-SIM capabilities.