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New Google tech could kill the touch screen

New Google tech could kill the touch screen
photo courtesy of SHUTTERSTOCK

Remember when you had to click actual buttons to do anything on your cellphone? Those days are long gone thanks to the touch screens that now adorn every smartphone and tablet. But, those touch screens could be a thing of past due to project Project Soli, the new Google technology that could leave tapping and swiping in the dust.

Project Soli is Google's futuristic new technology that would allow people to control gadgets without ever touching them. Instead, users would just have to make gestures in the air to send texts, browse the Web or check email.

Google's Advanced Technology and Projects Lab is spearheading the project. It's not ready for mass production yet, but Google has unveiled a prototype.

Project Soli uses radar waves to detect a user's finger gestures that they can use to control gadgets like smartphones, smartwatches and even virtual reality devices.

In one demo, the founder of Google's Project Soli, Ivan Poupyrev, kicked a virtual soccer ball by flicking at the screen. In another, he changed the hours on a clock by turning an imaginary dial with his fingers, and then changed the minutes by raising his hands further away from the screen and doing it again.

Google has placed the technology inside of small chip that can fit inside of just about any gadget. It will make it easier to control gadgets like smartwatches that have small screens that make styluses or touch screens impractical.

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