Google and Ford want to bring small radar to more devices

Radar may soon find its way into Google’s more personal tech the phones and smart speaker. 9to5Google Note Google, Ford and four other partners have published specifications for a Ripple standard that can expose small radar to more devices in a “privacy-respecting” manner. Theoretically, the framework, organized by the Consumer Technology Association, allows any device manufacturer to use small-scale radar for tasks ranging from existing uses from touchless gesture control and health monitoring to fitness tracking and even occupant detection in buildings.

Initial details are now available via GitHub, focusing on interoperability between radar types. Developers will initially have 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 used radar in shipping products like the Nest Hub or Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 driver assistance. The more industry-wide support for radar, the more customers are inclined to look for it in the company’s products. However, it could be really helpful if radar becomes more than just a rare but unnecessary bonus feature.

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