Google and Ford want to bring small radar to more devices
Radar might soon find its way into more personal technology than Google's phones and smart speakers. 9to5Googlenotes Google, Ford and four other partners have published specs for a Ripple standard that could bring small radar to more devices in a "privacy-respecting" fashion. The framework, hosted by the Consumer Technology Association, theoretically lets any device maker use small-scale radar for tasks ranging from existing uses like touch-free gesture control and health monitoring through to exercise tracking and even occupancy detection in buildings.
The early details are currently available through GitHub, with a focus on interoperability between radar types. Developers will initially have to add special use cases through extensions, but the Ripple team hopes to build those add-ons into later versions of the standard.
The involvement of Google and Ford is logical. Both have already used radar in shipping products like the Nest Hub or Ford's Co-Pilot 360 driver assists. The more industry-wide support there is for radar, the more customers are likely to seek it out in the companies' products. Still, it might be genuinely useful if radar becomes more than a rare-but-inessential bonus feature.
“Ripple will unlock helpful innovation that benefits everyone. General purpose radar is a key emerging technology for solving critical use cases in a privacy-respecting way.” - @ipoupyrev, Director of Engineering and Technical Projects Lead, Google ATAP.#AmbientComputing
— Google ATAP (@GoogleATAP) January 6, 2022