13 November 2019
Last month, Google surprised many by releasing a Pixel 4 render showing the square-shaped rear camera module. It has now released a blog post and a promotional video to officially confirm two of the biggest Pixel 4 features. These include facial recognition support and Motion Sense feature for gestures to achieve hands-free interaction.
The Pixel 4 facial recognition technology is very similar to Apple's Face ID tech which means there will be a direct competition between the two. On the top of the front panel, there are a bunch of sensors including a face unlock the infrared camera, ambient light sensor, face unlock dot projector, face unlock flood illuminator and Soli radar chip. These cameras and sensors are meant for facial unlocking as well as Motion Sense features.
The whole idea of facial recognition is the same as seen in many other smartphones but it is the actual working which Google is claiming to be different. It says that just when you will start approaching the smartphone, the Soli radar chip will get triggered and activate facial unlocking sensors instantly. The sensors will start the facial recognition process and if a successful match is found, it will unlock the phone. Google makes it clear that facial recognition will work even when the smartphone is held upside down which is something currently available iPhones are unable to do.
As for Motion Sense feature, Google has not revealed many details except for mentioning the use of Solari radar chip and a few example situations. The chip will allow the Pixel 4 to detect different hand and fingers movements which will represent specific gestures to accomplish specified tasks. Some of these will be the ability to skip songs, snooze alarms, and silence phone calls, just by waving your hand. Google has said that the feature will "evolve" with time and will be released only in select countries.