Google and Ford want to bring small radar to more devices


Radar could soon find its way into more personal technology than Google’s phones and smart speakers. 9to5Google notes that Google, Ford and four other partners have published specifications for a Ripple standard that could bring small radar to more devices in a “privacy-respecting” manner. Hosted by the Consumer Technology Association, the framework theoretically allows any device maker to use small-scale radar for tasks ranging from legacy applications such as touch-free gesture control and health monitoring to exercise tracking and even presence detection in buildings.

Early details are currently available via GitHub, with a focus on interoperability between radar types. Developers will initially need to add special use cases through extensions, but the Ripple team hopes to build those add-ons into later versions of the standard.

The involvement of Google and Ford makes sense. Both have already used radar when shipping products like the Nest Hub or Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 drivers. The more industry-wide support for radar, the more customers will look for it in the companies’ products. Still, it can be really helpful if radar becomes more than a rare but non-essential bonus feature.

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