Home Technology Google teases Pixel 4 face unlock and gesture control features

Google teases Pixel 4 face unlock and gesture control features

Google is building on the hype surrounding its upcoming Pixel phones, with the latest video it released teasing what is a new face unlocking mechanism as well as a new gesture control feature. Both the features will no doubt be among the biggest USP of the Pixel 4 phones expected for launch around fall this year.

Google also followed up with more information on the gesture control features it teased in the video, stating it’s the result of a new radar technology called Soli that comes integrated into the Pixel 4 phones. Developed by the Advanced Technology and Projects division at Google, Soli uses cutting-edge optical technology to detect movements off the screen, with the underlying software reacting according to such movements.

As shown in the video, the user can skip songs with just a wave of the hand. Google elaborated the feature will also allow users to silence phone calls or snooze alarms simply by way of hand gestures. The features though will only be limited to Pixel phones and that too in a select few countries only.

The Mountain View company further added it is just the start with more advanced features set to be introduced in future. Whether that would come in the form of software updates or will require the underlying camera and other associated sensors to be enhanced remains to be seen.


The evolution of new face unlock feature, one that Google is confident enough to showcase ahead of the Pixel 4’s launch is also significant. That’s because the face unlock mechanism has never been too secure on Android phones compared to Apple’s Face ID.

However, what remains to be seen is if the feature will be made available across the board for all Android phones subsequently. That would mean making the Soli feature open-source, something that again could undermine the exclusivity of Pixel phones.

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Meanwhile, with months left for the launch of the Pixel 4 – if the phone sticks to its usual October launch schedule, that is – that makes plenty of time for Google to reveal other details of the upcoming phone. The company has last teased a video in June wherein the phone was shown having an elaborate squarish rear camera module that should have multiple sensors.