At this point in the Pixel 4 timeline, we're just about one leaked schematic shy of 3D printing a handset of our own. We've already seen the official press images. We've gotten a 360º view of every curve, camera, and bezel. We snagged all the APKs we could possibly want. We even know the complete specs down to the Snapdragon 855 SOC, 6GB of RAM, and storage options. Now we're getting our best look yet at a handful of anticipated features, including Motion Sense, Face Unlock, and the next generation Google Assistant.
Next Generation Google Assistant
The next generation Assistant debuted onstage at I/O 2019, where Google's AI completed a series of tasks without the presenter ever needing to touch the screen or invoke the Assistant with a "Hey, Google" command. Thanks to exclusive footage obtained by 9to5Google, we now have marketing materials depicting the next generation Assistant in action.
Both examples feature similar situations: Assistant is summoned by the user and a task is completed with minimal touch input. The query can be seen along the bottom edge of the screen, just above a new colorful bar that lets you know Assistant is listening. Unlike current iterations of Google's AI, note how the next generation version is less intrusive. Instead of taking up the entire screen, Assistant surfaces only the requested information, and then it gets out of the way so the user can return to what they were doing.
Face unlocking technology may be more convenient than using fingerprints, but despite its appeal, it can be difficult to pull off. Unlike its Android competitors, Google is supposedly taking a page out of Apple's FaceID playbook by employing a dot projector paired with an infrared flood illuminator and IR camera to read facial features. With new footage obtained by 9to5Google, we can see how fast the feature is expected to work. In this example, a quick glance transitions the Pixel 4's display from the lockscreen to the homescreen so fast, you might miss it on the first watch.
There are plenty of instances where interacting with a display is impossible: preparing food, doing the dishes, waking from a groggy sleep. With Motion Sense, a new feature powered by Project Soli's radar-based motion sensors, users won't have to physically touch their screens to complete tasks like switching songs, silencing calls, or turning off alarm clocks.
To showcase the power of Motion Sense, Google partnered with The Pokemon Company on a game they're calling Pokemon Wave Hello. Using Soli sensors, players can interact with a number of on-screen Pokemon by petting Pikachu, helping Scorbunny jump, throwing water on Sobble, and more.
Want to learn more about the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL? Check out our complete coverage of the leaks as they develop.