Project Starline from Google Aims to Make Teleconferencing More Akin to Reality

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One trend that is probably not going away no matter how many people get vaccinated is teleconferencing via Zoom or Skype.

Photo by Max Vakhtbovych from Pexels.

While these technologies were once pretty novel now they’re associated with the drudgery of work. In fact, they’re about a shade shy of being classified as productivity software – that dreaded catch-all phrase that tends to describe things like Excel.

Google wants to change that and their solution is to make virtual meetings more like the real thing with something called Project Starline. That’s a pretty tall order, especially seeing as how meetings aren’t even that popular in the workplace to start, but it looks like the company is aiming more broadly in addition to that much-coveted commerce cohort.

So how does it work? It sounds like an interesting concept in action. Project Starline works like a window in which you view your counterpart in full 3D.

In Google’s own words:

“Imagine looking through a sort of magic window, and through that window, you see another person, life-size and in three dimensions. You can talk naturally, gesture and make eye contact.

To make this experience possible, we are applying research in computer vision, machine learning, spatial audio and real-time compression. We've also developed a breakthrough light field display system that creates a sense of volume and depth that can be experienced without the need for additional glasses or headsets.

The effect is the feeling of a person sitting just across from you, like they are right there.”

Sounds way more inviting than Facetime or anything like it. So far Project Starline is only available in a few Google offices for internal testing as it requires specialized equipment to work. Still, it could be a vision of the future as far as using technology for face-to-face communication is concerned.

You can check out a video explaining the technology over on YouTube at this link.

Do you think it is a good thing for teleconferencing to become more like meetings in real life? Let us know your thoughts on Google’s ambitions with Starline in the comments.

Don’t forget to check out our other photography news on Light Stalking at this link right here.

[Google]

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Kehl is our staff photography news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here

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