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Google Launches Ripple Initiative

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The power of radar in your hands.

Have you ever seen the movie Radar Secret Service? It’s about a special police squad that solve pretty much all of their problems using a radar in their car. It’s terrible and I love it. But even if such a concept isn’t interesting enough to carry an entire movie, radar is definitely a fascinating and potentially highly beneficial concept. It’s for this reason that Google has launched Ripple, an initiative intended to bestow radar functionality onto consumer-grade electronics.

Launched during this years Consumer Electronics Show, Ripple is kind of like a set of theoretical instructions that technological manufacturers could use to implement radar functionality into their creations. Several prominent tech companies are already on board, including Texas Instruments, Ford, and Blumio. The Consumer Technology Association are currently hosting the framework for the imitative, with the idea being to “enable hardware / software interoperability and accelerate the growth of applications for general purpose consumer radar.”

Now, when you think “radar,” you’re probably thinking of a submarine scanning for torpedoes, but that’s just one application. Radar, in the context of electronics, can refer to pretty much any tech used to detect movement. For example, a phone that can detect the movement of a human hand in front of it would be an application of radar.

“Ripple will unlock helpful innovation that benefits everyone,” said Ivan Poupyrev, the Director of Engineering and Technical Projects Lead at Google ATAP. “General purpose radar is a key emerging technology for solving critical use cases in a privacy-respecting way.”