April 22, 2024

Google’s Soli Uses Gesture Technology to Immerse K–12 Students

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Google’s Soli Uses Gesture Technology to Immerse K–12 Students
Mon, 08/26/2019 – 13:29

In movies, the fastest way to convey a futuristic world is by giving characters the power to control their environment with a simple wave of the hand. 

Gesture control isn’t ubiquitous yet, but the technology is progressing. In January, the Federal Communications Commission approved Google’s Project Soli, a sensing technology that uses miniature radar to detect touchless gestures

“With the FCC approvals, Google can develop the gesture technology at a faster pace,” says Thadhani Jagdish, senior research analyst in the information and communications technology practice at Grand View Research, to eventually “transform an individual’s hand into a universal remote control.” 

MORE FROM EDTECH: Check out what experts see as the future of classroom technology in K–12.

Microsoft Kinect Puts Content Control in Users’ Hands

Gesture technology is already being used in diverse applications, Jagdish notes. In South Africa’s O.R. Tambo International Airport, for example, a coffee company installed a machine that analyzes travelers’ facial gestures and dispenses a cup of coffee if it detects someone yawning

A Samsung TV supports motion control for changing channels, playing games and using the internet. An input device from Leap Motion, which develops hand-tracking software, lets a user control a computer or laptop with hand movements

In schools, these motion-sensing devices can be useful in spaces that rely on shared screens and collaboration platforms. 

Rich Radke, a professor of electrical, computer and systems engineering at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, says staff there use Microsoft Kinect, which lets them point at a screen to change the content. 

Jen A. Miller writes about technology for CIO.com. She’s also a contributor to the New York Times, Washington Post and the Guardian. Her most recent book, Running: A Love Story was published in March.