A Google Patent filing reveals a Smartphone that uses both a Stylus & 3D Hand Gestures to take on iPhone and Samsung's Note
On Wednesday Patently Apple posted a report titled "Two of Google's Key Pixel Phone Architects are out which has caused a little Mayhem behind-the-scenes." The source further noted in their report that "Google shipped around 2 million units of the Pixel 4 in the first two quarters it was available, at the end of 2019 and beginning of 2020, according to IDC’s estimates, a drop from the 3.5 million Pixel 3 and nearly 3 million Pixel 3a models that shipped in the first two quarters of their availability."
Whether the executives were pushed out of Google because they had the lead over Apple's iPhone XS and then failed to deliver a follow-up blow against the iPhone 11 Pro Max is unknown. Apple's latest phone was able to advance their camera to counter the Pixel that may have killed the Pixel 4 XL's momentum.
Another reason for their ouster could have been that Google's smartphone executives were unable to deliver their patent-pending technology on time. Technology that could have provided the Pixel with a tangible advancement over the iPhone 11 Pro and perhaps even challenge Samsung's Note.
Google's patent-pending invention that was published earlier this month relates to advancements made to their motion sensing radar technology that was borne out of Project Soli. The advancements will allow a future version of the Google's Pixelbook Pen to work with a Pixel phone, their Stadia game controller, home automation appliances and future devices.
In Google's patent FIG. 1 presented below we're able to see an example environment #100 in which techniques enabling a radar-image shaper for radar-based applications can be implemented. The example environment includes a Pixel Smartphone (#102), which includes, or is associated with, a radar system #104, a radar-signature manager #106 and a signature library #108.
In the example environment below, the radar system provides a radar field #110 by transmitting one or more radar signals or waveforms. The radar field is a volume of space from which the radar system can detect reflections of the radar signals and waveforms (e.g., radar signals and waveforms reflected from objects in the volume of space). The radar system also enables the Pixel phone, or another electronic device, to sense and analyze reflections from object #112 which is a stylus in the radar field.
The use of a stylus or smart pen would provide a future Pixel phone with the ability to market itself as a Samsung Note-Like competitor. The advantage to Google's approach is that the same radar system can be used with both a smart pen and 3D hand gestures.
It may also be able to work with their Stadia game controller at some point in the future as presented in patent FIG. 13 further below.
Google's patent FIGS. 7 and 8 below depict example implementations of a radar-image shaper, which can be used to enable the radar-image shaper for radar-based applications.
Google's patent FIG. 12 above illustrates stylus #1202 that includes a housing and has two radar-image shapers (e.g., two radar-image shapers 114) integrated within the housing of the stylus. As shown, the stylus includes a radar-image shaper #1204 that is integrated nearer to one end of the stylus housing and another radar-image shaper #1206 that is integrated nearer to another end of the stylus housing. In some implementations, the radar-image shapers may be different shapes, made from different materials, or both.
Google later notes that their stylus could also detect 3D gestures that can be used to control a future Pixel phone to provide additional functionality. For instance, in a radar-based drawing application, a user will be able to rotate the stylus between a thumb and a finger, or between two fingers, to increase or decrease a line thickness or brush size.
The user may also use a "shaking" gesture to pick a different brush or change from a brush or pen to an eraser. Similarly, in a radar-based drawing application, the user may draw or sketch in 21/2D or in full 3D.
Further, in a radar-based application with editing functions, a user may draw on a screen or other surface and use the 3D gestures with the stylus to create 3D volumes from 2D drawings (e.g., select a corner or other perimeter point on a 2D square or circle and lift the stylus off of the screen to create a cube or sphere). Once a 3D object exists, 3D gestures may be used to rotate, cut, or otherwise manipulate the 3D object.
Google also notes that their radar system will be able to work with future applications like 3D printers or home automation devices.
In Google's patent FIG. 13 above we're able to see a possible future Stadia gaming controller #1302 having a housing that includes two radar-image shapers #1304 and #1306. The radar-image shaper is an octahedron made from eight trihedral corner reflectors and the radar-image shaper #1306 is a sphere with dimples. Because they are different shapes, the radar-image shaper #1304 and the radar-image shaper #1306 have different radar signatures.
Google's patent filing further notes that their radar system will be able to extend to other devices over time such as a TV remote, a Pixel phone case and appliances.
Lastly, our graphic below presents you with an overview of Google's advanced Radar System in FIG. 3 and in patent FIG. 4 Google illustrates example arrangements of receiving antenna elements for the radar system of FIG. 3.
Google's patent filing was made in Q4 2018 and published earlier this month by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Considering this is a patent application, it's unknown at this time when such products could make it to market.