One of the unique features of the Google Pixel 4 is Motion Sense. This was Google’s real-world implementation of Project Soli, but now according to 9to5Google’s Stephen Hall, it seems that Motion Sense will no longer be in use in the upcoming Google Pixel 5 smartphones.
In case you’re unfamiliar, Project Soli uses radar that can detect non-touch motions. When implemented in the Pixel 4 as Motion Sense, it allowed users to interact with the handset without touching it, like waking the screen just by bring your hand close, waving your hands to answer/reject calls, and so on.
While it did seem pretty unique, it just did not seem to catch on. Similar to Apple’s 3D Touch pressure sensitive technology, we imagine that one of the reasons is that users who did not know about it would not necessarily be able to discover it on their own, thus limiting its use, which means that Google would be spending additional time and resources further developing a tech that might not be used by everyone.
In yesterday's show, we also touched on some things we're hearing about Pixel 5 from sources — specifically that it will likely leave behind hobbies like Soli
— Stephen Hall (@hallstephenj) May 15, 2020
The concept of touchless interactions with our phones aren’t new, and we have seen companies attempt it in the past with similar (failed) results. We can’t be 100% sure that this particular rumor is true, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it is. Until Google can confirm or deny it, take it with a grain of salt.