Project Starline is an experimental video communication method currently in development by Google that allows the user to see a 3D model of the person they are communicating with. Google announced the product at its 2021 I/O developer conference, saying that it will allow users to "talk naturally, gesture and make eye contact"[1] by utilizing machine learning, spatial audio, computer vision and real-time compression to create the 3D effect without the user wearing typical virtual reality goggles.[2] The goal is to make the user feel as if they are in the same room with the other user.[3][4]

Development

Project Starline had been in development for more than five years prior to the official announcement on May 18, 2021.[5][6] The technology is currently only available in a small number of Google's offices, but the company plans to begin collaborating with certain partners in the next year,[7] particularly partners in the healthcare and media industries.[8][better source needed]

In November 2021, the project was reorganized under a new division called Google Labs (unrelated to the defunct service of the same name) along with Area 120 and Google's AR and VR efforts.[9] Google will begin testing the technology with corporations such as Salesforce and T-Mobile beginning in late 2022.[10]

Implementation

The current implementation of Project Starline is a booth that the user sits in, facing a 65 in (170 cm) "light field display,"[7] surrounded by depth sensors, cameras, and lights.[5][11] Light field technology is a photography technique that captures the direction of light as well as its intensity and color to enable more effective 3D imaging.[12] The user can then view another user on the display in 3D and vice versa. Google says it plans to "make this technology more affordable and accessible."[2]

Reception

Jay Peters of The Verge was impressed by a demo of Project Starline, comparing it to "real life science fiction".[13]

References

  1. ^ "Project Starline: Feel like you're there, together". Google. May 18, 2021. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Project Starline: Google's video chat makes it look like users are physically in the same room". techxplore.com. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  3. ^ Molina, Brett. "Project Starline: Google's video chat makes it look like users are physically in the same room". USA TODAY. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  4. ^ Perry, Alex. "Google Starline could turn video calls into 3D holographic experiences". Mashable. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Google's Project Starline Wants to Turn You Into a Hologram". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  6. ^ May 2021, Mark Spoonauer 18. "Google I/O 2021 recap: Android 12, Wear OS, Project Starline and all the big news". Tom's Guide. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  7. ^ a b Kastrenakes, Jacob (May 18, 2021). "Google previews Project Starline, a next-gen 3D video chat booth". The Verge. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  8. ^ "Google's Project Starline makes two-way communication immersive and realistic". GSMArena.com. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  9. ^ Perez, Sarah (November 11, 2021). "Google reorg moves AR, VR, Starline and Area 120 into new 'Labs' team". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on November 11, 2021. Retrieved November 14, 2021.
  10. ^ Peters, Jay (October 11, 2022). "Google is going to test its 3D video chat booth with more companies". The Verge. Archived from the original on October 11, 2022. Retrieved October 13, 2022.
  11. ^ "Google's Project Starline is a 'magic window' for 3D telepresence". Engadget. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  12. ^ David Pierce (February 29, 2012). "Lytro Review". Verge. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  13. ^ Peters, Jay (October 13, 2022). "A meeting in Google's 3D chat booth felt like real life science fiction". The Verge. Archived from the original on October 13, 2022. Retrieved October 15, 2022.