Google launches Ripple, an open-source standard for open radar technologies

Google took advantage of CES to unveil a new open-source API standard called Ripple. Linked to the field of radars, in which the firm has invested heavily in recent years, Ripple could benefit many circles, including the automotive sector.

With Ripple, Google could give radars a boost in the automotive sector // Credit: Kai Wenzel – Unsplash

With Ripple, Google could give radars a boost in the automotive sector // Credit: Kai Wenzel – Unsplash

Launched under the aegis of the CTA (Consumer Technology Association), which manages the organization of the CES each year, the new “Ripple” API standard is nevertheless mainly developed by Google. It aims to open up radar technologies by betting on open source and is thus the subject of a GitHub page created discreetly on December 7th.

As specified The edge, this standard could benefit from some of Google’s know-how in terms of radars (the firm has invested a lot in this field, in particular with its Soli project used on the Pixel 4 and the Google Nest Hub 2nd gen) and already seems predestined to serve in the automotive sector. The Ford group is also one of the participants in this new open source standard.

A new life for Soli?

Ripple will unlock useful innovations that will benefit everyone. General Purpose Radar is an Emerging Technology Essential for Solving Critical Privacy Use Cases“, explained in particular Ivan Pupyrev, known for leading the Google ATAP team behind Soli. Statements of great accuracy: radar technologies can indeed be used to detect in a non-intrusive way if someone is present near a device. They also allow certain interactions without using a camera or a microphone, for example.

As mentioned above, the Ripple standard (which would be based on the “Standard Radar APIfrom Google, first mentioned in a document dated January 2021) is already of interest to Ford. Contacted byThe edge, the American giant does not yet want to detail what it wants to do with this API. We just know that the brand does research for “indoor radars capable of doing things that its outdoor radars cannot do today“, sums up the specialized site.

[Nous voulons] Enhance diverse customer experiences by going beyond our Ford Co-Pilot360 driver assistance technologies, which today use advanced exterior radars“, explained in particular a spokesperson for Ford, without saying too much. “A standard API, with input from the semiconductor industry, will allow us to develop independent software (…) and give software teams the latitude to innovate across multiple radar platforms“, he continues. At this point, we won’t know much more.

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