FCC Grants Google’s Request for Waiver of Rules for Motion Sensing Devices

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has granted a request from Google to waive certain power level requirements in connection with the company’s short-range interactive motion sensing device.

According to an Order issued by the FCC on December 31st, Google’s Project Soli field disturbance sensor captures motion in a three-dimensional space to facilitate the operation or control of certain devices, potentially benefiting users with mobility, speech or tactile impairments. In early 2018, the company filed a waiver request with the Commission that would allow the Soli sensor to operate in the 57-64 GHz frequency band at power levels consistent with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) standard EN 305 550. That standard permits operation at higher power levels than those allowed under FCC rules.

In response to public comments filed in connection with its waiver request, Google subsequently determined that Soli sensors could operate effectively under a lower peak power limit than originally requested while continuing to adhere the maximum duty cycle requirement.

In its Order, the Commission noted that, when operating under Google’s modified waiver requirements, the Soli sensors posed minimal risk of causing harmful interference to other spectrum users while helping to facilitate the introduction of innovative device control technologies using touchless hand gestures. Accordingly, the Commission granted the waiver request as modified, enabling the Soli sensors to obtain certification under FCC rules.

Read the complete text of the Commission’s Order in connection with Google’s Soli sensor.


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