Amazon wants to use its own Soli-like radar tech to monitor your sleep

Amazon Echo Show 8 White
Amazon Echo Show 8 White (Image credit: Amazon)

What you need to know

  • Amazon has just gained permission to use Radar Sensors in future devices.
  • The company would be expected to use the sensors for touchless controls and sleep tracking.
  • Google recently launched the Nest Hub (2nd Gen) with Soli radar sensors for similar use.

According to a request filed with the FCC, Amazon might be prepping to follow Google's footsteps with its Echo smart displays.

Bloomberg first spotted the request, which recently granted Amazon permission to utilize "Radar Sensors" in unnamed devices to enable touchless controls "by capturing motion in a three-dimensional space." This would work similarly to how Google implemented its Soli technology in the Pixel 4 with Motion Sense.

The file also mentions that Amazon's "Radar Sensors" would be used for sleep tracking and could "improve awareness and management of sleep hygiene, which in turn could produce significant health benefits for many Americans." This closely follows the recent launch of the Nest Hub (2nd Gen), which is Google's first smart display to feature the company's Soli tech. Google uses its radar tech to track sleep and detect ambient light that could disturb one's sleep.

There's no mention of a device that would utilize the new tech, but the document approves Amazon to use its sensors in "non-mobile devices." This might indicate that the company plans to include sensors in future versions of the best Amazon Echo Show displays.

The document highlights the benefits of using such radar tech in devices, referencing a previous waiver granted to Google for Project Soli.

The ability to recognize users' touchless hand gestures to control a device . . . could help people with mobility, speech, or tactile impairments, which in turn could lead to higher productivity and quality of life for many members of the American public.

Amazon was not immediately available to comment.

Some of Amazon's smart displays already feature impressive object tracking cameras. The new Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen) has a display that swivels around the body of the device to follow the user. Adding a radar sensor could greatly improve functions like this on Amazon's future displays with more precise detection and greater privacy.

Derrek Lee
Managing Editor

Derrek is the managing editor of Android Central, helping to guide the site's editorial content and direction to reach and resonate with readers, old and new, who are just as passionate about tech as we are. He's been obsessed with mobile technology since he was 12, when he discovered the Nokia N90, and his love of flip phones and new form factors continues to this day. As a fitness enthusiast, he has always been curious about the intersection of tech and fitness. When he's not working, he's probably working out.