Xiaomi's next Android tablet could support hands-free gestures

Xiaomi MIX Fold 2 review
(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • The next Xiaomi tablet is rumored to allow users to control the device without touching the screen.
  • These hands-free gestures will supposedly be possible with the addition of a ToF camera to the tablet.
  • Xiaomi's next foldable phone is also tipped to receive a feature similar to the Flex mode of the Galaxy Z Flip 4.

If you owned Google’s flagship Pixel 4 a few years ago, you are surely familiar with its motion sensing capability that allows for hands-free control of some operations. A new rumor suggests a similar feature could make its way to Xiaomi's next tablet.

According to MIUI Polska writer Kacper Skrzypek, a ToF (time of flight) camera will enable a future Xiaomi device to support hands-free gestures (via Android Authority). This could mean you'll be able to do things like play or pause media playback, turn pages, answer or end calls, and adjust the volume.

In addition, the ToF sensor could make it possible to have a device lock its screen when you walk away and unlock when it detects your presence again. This is exactly the same set of controls that Pixel 4 owners were able to perform in the past, although Google used Soli radar for motion sensing instead of a ToF sensor.

For the uninitiated, ToF measures the distance to an object by sending out a light signal and measuring the time it takes for the signal to return. In contrast, Google's Soli radar measures the distance between objects using millimeter-wave radio waves.

Skrzypek shared an illustration of the ToF concept that Xiaomi apparently plans to implement for its device. As shown below, the sensor will be able to detect objects up to 40cm away.

Xiaomi hands-free gestures

(Image credit: Kacper Skrzypek / Twitter)

Additionally, the tipster claimed that Xiaomi's next-generation foldable phone, dubbed the Xiaomi Mix Fold 3, will allow users to use gestures on the bottom half of the display to control the device when it is partially folded. This capability is known as Hover mode, similar to the Galaxy Z Flip 4's Flex mode.

The tipster didn't mention the specific models that may include these features or when said devices will make their debut. But these capabilities will be an added convenience for users, if the rumors are correct.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.