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Google has reiterated its commitment to continue building hardware in the future. A blog post by Senior Vice President of Devices & Services Rick Osterloh confirms this.
Osterloh opened and closed Google’s Launch Night In event. There he announced the Pixel 5 and 4A 5G to much fanfare.
He also hinted at Soli Radar and Motion sensor would be making a return to hardware the in near future. The technology took Google a long while to develop to is was interesting to see no sign of it at this year’s event.
Google reiterates commitment to building hardware
Like most years Osterloh summarized the theme for Launch Night In/Made by Google 2020 as reported by 9to5. Normally this sees him bang the drum about Google being helpful. However, alongside this, he also made the point about Google products becoming more affordable too.
He continued to not that Google would be “building hardware for the long term”. Thus reiterating the company’s commitment in this vain. He also said that he is proud of the company’s progress despite the challenges of 2020.
This definitely a change of tone from 2019 when Google focused on ‘ambient computing’. This was about creating hardware that did not “[intrude] on your life.”
The aim here was to work “with AI and software to assist you throughout your day”. The goal was to have these devices “fade into the background” so as to not cause any intrusion.
Osterloh hints at the return of Soli Radar
One obvious gap in the event last night was no mention of Soli radar and Motion Sense gestures for the new flagship device. It was a big selling point of the Pixel 4 last year allowing users to wave above the phone to play/pause and skip tracks, as well as dismiss calls and alarms.
However, this was notably absent from this year’s event. Rick Osterloh commented on the technology in a later interview.
He said the technology will “be used in the future”. So quite a firm promise from Osterloh but a very vague one with no sense of when and where this technology will return.
Google has always positioned the technology as an up-and-coming interaction method. Therefore, the fact it has not over-used it as of yet is hardly surprising.
The vague nature of Osterloh’s comments has sparked some to think he may not have been referencing its use in phones. Other rumours suggest it may appear in the Nest Thermostat. However, we have no confirmation of this so we will just have to wait and see what Google comes up with.