CTA Partners with Industry Leaders to Announce Ripple, a New Open Radar API Standard

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Arlington, VA, Jan. 4, 2022 – Today at CES 2022, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® announced Ripple, a new industry standard for radar system development that will enable hardware and software interoperability for general purpose consumer radar across industrial, automotive and medical applications. The new standard was a collaborative effort led by CTA’s Ripple Technology Project Group with participation from industry leaders including Aptiv, Blumio, Ford, Google, Infineon, NXP, and Texas Instruments. The industry-led group formed in early 2021 to accelerate the growth of low-power, general purpose radar.

Radar sensing systems have historically been designed for single applications, with hardware and software custom-developed for each purpose. This means that traditional product solutions — from the hardware to the final user experience — are bespoke. This new standard will enable general purpose radar interoperability by developing both specifications for open and standardized application programming interfaces (APIs) and a collaborative plan to drive industry adoption of the standard.

“Our standard will encourage radar interoperability, allowing our industry to harness the power of this technology in innovative ways,” said Kerri Haresign, director of technology and standards at CTA. “This standard has meaningful benefits for consumers and industry drivers across the globe. From home security systems to hands free operation of devices in our vehicles and homes, radar interoperability will lead to better products for consumers and faster innovation around the technology. We are proud of the work our members undertook on this industry-led effort and look forward to expanding the API to include additional radar waveforms and features.”

“Ripple will unlock helpful innovation that benefits everyone,” said Ivan Poupyrev, Director of Engineering and Technical Projects Lead, Google ATAP. “General purpose radar is a key emerging technology for solving critical use cases in a privacy-respecting way. We are excited to contribute and collaborate with the other members of the technical project group and the technology industry more broadly. We welcome more companies and developers to reach out and participate in Ripple.”

The benefits of a general-purpose radar API include:

  • New products and services for consumers: Radar enables features like non-invasive wellness monitoring; detection of unusual inactivity in a home, which can be a sign that someone needs help; nonverbal gesture recognition on devices, like a simple wave of your hand changes the song on your phone; and hands-free operation of things like car doors.
  • Interoperable software libraries: With standardized calls, software libraries can work across various radar hardware implementations, ensuring reusability and easier firmware upgrades.
  • Growth of radar hardware ecosystems + integrators: With an open API standard, it’s easier for integrators to get started, develop and distribute radar solutions. This reduced barrier to entry will lead to new products and services for consumers.
  • Opportunities to innovate and differentiate with extensions: Ripple will enable developers to create specialized extensions so that they can build on the standard to support their own differentiated use cases. These extensions can be incorporated as official interfaces in future versions of the standard.
  • Education and academic research: Standardized software that works across all radar applications can simplify experimentation and prototyping; making radar more accessible to students, startups, academics and researchers.