Google demoed a next-gen video chat booth at the Google I/O Conference 2021 recently that allows users to talk to people far far away as if they are sitting right in front of them. It’s a 3D tech and uses an array of sensors and cameras to make the magic happen thanks to the light field tech. Dubbed as Project Starline, Google has been developing the tech for some time now and the demo looks flamboyant.
All You Need To Know About Google Project Starline
According to the reports, Google’s Project Starline is, in layman’s terms, a fancy-looking video chat setup but in 3D and uses much more than a smartphone. Rather, it depends on specialized hardware and equipment that allows both the users to see each other as if they are literally in front of them.
As it goes, Project Starline uses an array of sensors and cameras to capture the appearance and shape of the person from different perspectives. The system then stitches all this data to create a 3D model of the person with abundant depth info and compresses it so that it could be broadcasted on the available bandwidth of the internet connection and all that happens in real-time.
Google has tested the feature on a person-to-person video chat and not group chat and as mentioned above, both the nodes require specialized tech and gear to conduct such a video call. This includes an entire booth fixed with cameras, depth sensors, a bench to sit on, lights, and in fact, an entire booth with custom-built hardware that includes a 65-inch light field display that makes it appear as if the person is sitting just in front of each other.
The technology is currently being tested at a few of Google’s offices including Seattle, New York and Bay Area, California. The tech juggernaut has plans to unleash the new technology to two industries at least at the moment i.e. healthcare and media where the former is perennial due to the ongoing pandemic. No doubt the technology is still far from reaching households. Google is likely working on the Project Starline to stretch the line between two users so thin that they would forget they are on a video call.