Google is seemingly preparing a new Nest thermostat, and it could feature air gesture controls.
According to a new filing with the U.S. FCC spotted by Droid-Life, Google is making a new smart thermostat with the model name “G4CVZ”. This thermostat will likely be Nest-branded, but more interestingly, it may come equipped with Google’s Project Soli radar technology, similar to the system that was introduced with last year’s Pixel 4. The inclusion of Project Soli could be made possible by a 60GHz radar transmitter found in the Nest thermostat. As Ars Technica points out, Google previously received FCC approval to use Soli in the 57- to 64GHz frequency band.
When Google first pitched Soli to the public, the company promised the technology could detect “sub-millimeter motions of your fingers.” The Soli-powered Motion Sense gestures on the Pixel 4 fell short of that promise, likely because Google had to shrink the Soli radar chip to fit within the top bezel of the phone.
A new Google Nest Learning Thermostat, however, will likely be larger and thus have more room to fit a larger Soli radar chip than the one in the Pixel 4. If that’s the case, this chip could allow users to potentially control the new Nest thermostat using air gestures. Using a Nest thermostat is already intuitive and adjusting the temperature is as easy as turning the dial, but adding gestures would make interacting with the Nest that much easier. Imagine using a hand wave to turn down the temperature in your home.
Google has yet to take a crack at creating a thermostat itself. After acquiring Nest in 2014, the company operated independently within Google. But in 2018, the company was fully merged into Google. Nest previously released the third-gen Nest Learning Thermostat in 2015 followed by the more affordable Nest E in 2017, so a new product is long overdue.
Featured image: the current Nest Learning Thermostat
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