Xiaomi would like to resurrect an old function of the Google Pixel 4

Xiaomi would work on a tablet project taking on its own the idea of ​​a recognition of movements and certain gestures. A concept in which Google had placed a lot of hope about four years ago.

Propose a technology allowing to transcend the only tactile interaction with a screen. Google has tried this with more or less success through its “Soli” motion recognition technology deployed on the Pixel 4 in 2019 and subsequently abandoned because it was deemed too expensive. We learn this week that Xiaomi could nevertheless take up the torch.

Android Police reports that the Chinese brand is working on a device with a ToF sensor (Time of Flight) capable of offering hands-free gesture control. The device in question, probably integrated into a tablet, would allow users to control, without touching the screen, the playback of media, but also to adjust the volume, to switch from one song to another, or to turn pages of an eBook or PDF. This motion recognition feature could finally be used to answer or end a call.

Motion recognition, but not only

However, the ToF sensor of this future Xiaomi device would not only be dedicated to these functions. We learn that the brand would take advantage of this technology to strengthen the security of its device by automatically locking it when the user moves away from it, for example. The automatic ignition of the screen when approaching it would also be a feature considered, we read.

Also, one of the upcoming #Xiaomi devices will feature ToF camera on screen (probably tablet), allowing to
*automatically lock screen when you walk a certain distance away
*light screen when you come near device
*play/pause playback
*turn pages
*answer/end calls
*adjust volume pic.twitter.com/0UNiWzlZjk

— Kacper Skrzypek 🇵🇱 (@kacskrz) July 1, 2023

Note, however, that a big technical difference separates Xiaomi’s project from the Soli technology used a few years ago by Google. The latter used a radar system to operate, while Xiaomi would be satisfied with ToF technology… and therefore optical. If it materializes, we can therefore imagine that it will be less precise than Soli was in his time. It is also difficult to know if Xiaomi will succeed in implementing it intelligently on the software level, and if the features mentioned above will be really useful or simply gimmicky.

So far, this type of hands-free control, whether on a smartphone with the Pixel 4, or even on consoles with the Microsoft Kinect system (on the Xbox 360s and the first Xbox Ones) has not really been able to seduce users. crowds compared to traditional controls.

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