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Welcome To Minority Report: See The Pixel 4's Gesture Control Technology

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Welcome To Minority Report: See The Pixel 4's Gesture Control Technology

Remember when Tom Cruise put on those weird gloves and waved his hands around to manipulate images on his screen in "Minority Report"?

Yeah, we're there now. Only you don't need the gloves.

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG)(NASDAQ: GOOGL) is taking a hands-off approach with its new Pixel 4 phone, rolling out a hand-waving interface that can see even smaller movements than those made by Cruise's Chief of Precrime John Anderton.

The phone, previewed by Google in a new video, will feature motion sense and face unlock. With a glance, users will be able to unlock it, and with a wave of the hand they'll control some of its features, from skipping to a new song, to snoozing an alarm to silencing the ringer.

The Pixel 4 will be released this fall.

The new gesture control feature is based on radar-based technology called Soli, which Google unveiled at its 2016 developer conference. When it showed it off then, it touted the sensor technology as the interface of the future for wearables – but many observers assumed it would be used in phones and with other screens, and could eventually be the common interface for most tech, including that in cars, making it easier for drivers to keep hands on the wheel more.

Hand waves to snooze the phone alarm are "just the start," Pixel's product manager, Brandon Barbello, wrote in a blog post. Fine tuning of the sensors to be able to recognize more differing motions will continue, he said.

Face Unlock

Other devices have had face unlock already, but Barbello said the version on the Pixel 4 will be smoother and easier to use.

"As you reach for Pixel 4, Soli proactively turns on the face unlock sensors, recognizing that you may want to unlock your phone," Barbello wrote. "If the face unlock sensors and algorithms recognize you, the phone will open as you pick it up, all in one motion. Better yet, face unlock works in almost any orientation—even if you're holding it upside down—and you can use it for secure payments and app authentication too."

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