Google, Infineon Team Up on Chip for Cars, Wristbands

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Google Inc. and Infineon Technologies AG are developing a chip small enough to be put in watches or wristbands that can detect gestures and recognize individuals.

Infineon has developed the radar sensor semiconductor and is working with Google to integrate the device in applications such as for automotive safety, Germany’s biggest chipmaker said Saturday. Google is seeking to start using hand motions of only a few millimeters to operate devices like smartwatches and computers.

“The chip detects motions, recognizes people and is so small it could be used in applications enabling the Internet of things, in watches, in wearables like fitness wristbands or in driver-assistance systems,” Bernd Hops, a spokesman for Infineon, said by phone from Munich. “We are contributing the hardware, and Google its unique expertise on applications and user-experience interface.”

Google showed the technology at a developer conference Friday in San Francisco that aims to find new ways for people to interact with technology, it said in an e-mail.

The company is seeking to boost cooperation with carmakers, with several models integrating Google’s Android Auto infotainment system. BMW AG plans to equip its revamped 7-Series sedan, due to go on sale in September with infotainment features controlled by hand gestures.

Google’s deepening push into the car industry is meeting growing opposition in Germany, where lawmakers are backing the likes of Audi and Mercedes-Benz as they seek to limit the software company’s access under the hood.

Infineon’s cooperation with Google is open-ended and is based on technology already used in automotive safety, Hops said.

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