Before we begin our journey, let's look at this small team called ATAP "pirates", or the Advanced Technology and Projects group. These guys do what they do best: research, innovate/invent and make anything possible. They work not to get it all right, but try to make a change from the “impossible” to "possible”.
ATAP came together just last year, and at I/O’14, they showed us Ara, a game-changing modular phone concept (in collaboration with Phonebloks, of course). This year at I/O, the ATAP team showed us some really interesting technology that in the coming years might change the way we interact with our gadgets.
Starting with Project Soli.
Soli's hardware is a very tiny radar instrument. It practically does the same job as the huge antenna telescopes that scan the skies, just compressed into a tiny chip. Soli works slightly differently though: it broadcasts a wide beam, and the signals that reflect off your fingers generates a computer impulse. Soli is extremely fast and very sensitive. Its so sensitive that you can precisely set the time on a watch just by making a crown rotation motion with your fingers.
The research done for Project Soli also had a side effect. A side effect that ATAP exploited in its Project Jacquard.
And the big news: Levis. Levis, the iconic jean brand, is going to work with ATAP to experiment with the techy thread and hopefully bring it to the masses.
Finally, Ara. Project ARA is a modular phone concept Google has been developing since over a year. This I/O, they got the Ara phone working: they assembled the phone live, and used it to take a picture of the audience. Yes, modular phones work. Google will be doing its trials later this year at Puerto Rico. Read my previous articles on the topic: Phonebloks
The ATAP team shows that the future isn’t going to be very similar to what we think it’ll be. For now, I’m dreaming about my next pair of jeans. Keep Technonerding!