Google's Pixel 4 offers a glimpse into a hands-free future

From CNET: After it bucked the rumor mill and "leaked" an official image of the Pixel 4 in June, Google continued its unorthodox strategy by dropping a 22-second video about the Pixel 4 on Monday, way before its anticipated October launch. The video and accompanying blog showed off two new features of the phone: face unlock (similar to Apple's Face ID) and motion sense -- the latter of which lets you "skip songs, snooze alarms, and silence phone calls" by waving a hand in front of the phone's embedded radar chip. It's a feature we don't need but deeply want, judging by the number of gestural interface referenced in sci-fi movies such as Minority Report.

My first conscious encounter with touchless controls was with the iMotion CarPlay Direct Connect. Created by Monster Cable in 2011, it was a car charger that plugged into a cigarette lighter and let me control my iPod or iPhone. By waving my hand left or right in front of its motion sensor, I could skip and pause songs without having to pick up my iPod. But it was incredibly bulky and unreliable. Sometimes it wouldn't register my motions at all, but it would maddeningly pause my music any time I reached for a drink in my cup holder. Still, I told just about everybody who stepped into my car what I used it for, and continued to use the stupid thing for a solid month before I became too frustrated and packed it away in my center console to collect dust.

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