With more than 100 business partners invited to see a demonstration of the holographic video call technology, Google is getting ready to test Project Starline in the real world.
This week marks the beginning of Google’s early access program, which has as partners Salesforce, WeWork, T-Mobile, and Hackensack Meridian Health. Before the year is up, Project Starline prototypes will also be set up at a few partner offices.
The platform, which was unveiled at the developer conference last year, projected a 3D model of your body in real time onto a customized panel to simulate face-to-face communication.
For the video call, Starline captures a person’s shape using high-resolution cameras and specially designed depth sensors. The shape is combined with HD photos from the camera to generate a 3D model, which is then over 100 times compressed for effective internet transmission.
According to according to Andrew Nartker (Opens in a new window) , Google’s head of Product Management, the technology “functions like a magic window, where users can communicate, gesture, and make eye contact with another person, life-size and in three dimensions.” Major developments in machine learning, computer vision, spatial audio, and light field display systems have made this possible.
The technology was first set up by Google in a few of its workplaces, where hundreds of hours have been spent testing it (Opens in a new window) . Comparing Starline to conventional video chat systems, it is theorized that Starline can boost employee presence, attention, and productivity.
People have commented that the contact felt natural and expressed their connection to the individual sitting across from them, according to Nartker.
We want the Project Starline experience to seem natural, as if the other person is sitting in the same room as you, whether you’re giving a presentation to a colleague or simply having a coffee talk. More generally, we want to make it possible for workers to be inspired and effective while working remotely.
The cost of constructing a Starline terminal is unknown, and it is also unknown whether or not the booths will eventually be accessible to non-commercial or residential users.
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