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Tiny smart chip to be integrated into wearables

MUNICH — Google and Infineon Technologies are developing a chip small enough to be put in watches or wristbands that can detect gestures and recognise individuals.

MUNICH — Google and Infineon Technologies are developing a chip small enough to be put in watches or wristbands that can detect gestures and recognise individuals.

Infineon, having created a radar-sensor semiconductor, is working with Google to integrate the device into applications such as those for automotive safety, Germany’s biggest chipmaker said on Saturday. Google is seeking to start using hand motions of only a few millimetres to operate devices such as smartwatches.

“The chip detects motions, recognises people and is so small that it could be used in applications enabling the Internet of Things, in watches, wearables like fitness wristbands, or driver-assistance systems,” Infineon spokesman Bernd Hops said by phone from Munich.

“We are contributing the hardware and Google its unique expertise in applications and user-experience interface.”

Google showcased the technology at a developer conference on Friday in San Francisco. The company is seeking to boost cooperation with car makers, 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 based on technology already used in automotive safety, Mr Hops said. BLOOMBERG

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