After intentionally leaking images of its own device last month, Google preannounced some the features coming to its Pixel 4 smartphone that’s set to launch this fall.
In a blog post and YouTube video posted Monday, the search giant revealed that the fourth-generation smartphone will have two new features: Face Unlock, which is a take on Apple’s Face ID, and Motion Sense, which lets you control the phone using air gestures.
Google’s facial recognition comes almost two years since Apple first introduced the technology, which iOS customers use to unlock Apple devices and authenticate contactless payments using Apple Pay.
Google is following Apple’s example, revealing that the Pixel 4 will also use the face unlock tool for mobile payments. “Face unlock works in almost any orientation – even if you’re holding it upside down – and you can use it for secure payments and app authentication, too,” Google said in a blog post.
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Rumors were circulating about the Face ID rival since Google first tweeted a rendering of the back of the upcoming phone in June. The photo revealed that the fingerprint scanner had been removed from the back of the device.
The new Motion Sense feature is made possible by Google’s work on Project Soli, a motion-sensing radar.
Motion Sense will work in tandem with Face Unlock, Google says. So, presumably, the phone’s radar sensors will pick up when you are reaching for your device to unlock it. In theory, this is faster, more convenient and more advanced than traditional fingerprint sensors.
“Pixel 4 will be the first device with Soli, powering our new Motion Sense features to allow you to skip songs, snooze alarms and silence phone calls, just by waving your hand,” Google said.
Motion Sense will be available only in select countries.
Typically, the tech giant waits until its big unveiling event in October to show off its newest tech.
By officially announcing the phone’s features ahead of its release, Google is generating hype on social media that could backfire. Generally, smartphone makers don’t comment on leaked images as it takes some of the excitement out of flashy in-depth reveals.