Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group (ATAP) is a small, secretive unit within the tech giant, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in technology. Led by Regina Dugan, the group has a two-year project limit, encouraging rapid innovation and high-risk ideas. ATAP’s projects have included modular smartphones, interactive textiles, and radar-based gesture control.

Project Ara, a modular smartphone, allows users to customise their device with different components, like a high-end camera or extra battery. This project aims to transform the smartphone industry, making devices more personal and extending their lifespan.

Project Jacquard is another ATAP initiative that weaves touch and gesture interactivity into any textile using standard industrial looms. This could revolutionise the fashion industry, enabling clothing to interact with digital devices.

Project Soli, a radar-based gesture control system, uses a tiny chip to track sub-millimetre motions at high speed and accuracy. It could change the way we interact with wearables and other devices, allowing control without physical contact.

ATAP’s approach to innovation is unique, operating like a startup within Google. They prioritise speed and risk-taking, fostering an environment where failure is an option, but fear is not. The group’s projects have the potential to redefine industries and change the way we interact with technology.

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