Google – Gestural Interfaces

How can Google put its high-performance radar-based gesture sensor in action for connected home audio?


A team at Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group (ATAP), led by Dr. Ivan Poupyrev, was testing its Soli sensing technology in different contexts to enable people to control devices without touching a single button, knob or screen. Soli is a miniature radar that detects touchless gesture interactions. Working with the technology in the JBL by Harman speaker, we set out to provide the ATAP team with a deep understanding of the experience of users while interacting with audio in mid-air. One of the main factors to consider with this new form of interaction was how users receive feedback.


Our multi-disciplinary team, offering a unique skillset of engineering, service design, UX design and industrial design, set out to explore the changing audio landscape and trends. The insights derived from these tests allowed us, in a very close cooperation with ATAP and JBL by Harman, to recommend and develop various industrial design adaptations. As I/O 2016, Google’s yearly developer conference, was fast approaching our team continued to support ATAP and JBL by Harman in producing a functional prototype that was presented at the event.

Soli allows users to interact with their music – purely through gestures.

Follow us