Virtual reality

Is Google’s ‘Magic Window’ The Future Of Video Calls?

Google’s Project Starline is back and looking better than ever.

It was back in 2021 that we first learned about Project Starline, an ambitious technology project from Google aimed at improving remote teleconferencing through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and light field display technology. Instead of a standard 2D image, Project Starline offers a “lifelike” 3D image of the person you’re conversing with, allowing for more natural and engaging interactions, regardless of your physical location.

Today, Google unveiled a new-and-improved version of its Project Starline system. Whereas the original took up roughly the same size as a restaurant booth and required a complex system of cameras and infrared light emitters, this latest prototype has been scaled down to the size of a standard flatscreen monitor.

Credit: Google

AI-powered 3D visuals

According to Google, this sleek new form factor was achievable through the use of new AI techniques. The prototype device is still capable of generating a live 3D model of the subject, but instead of the aforementioned hardware, only a handful of standard cameras are needed in order for the system to function.

“With Project Starline, we’re getting closer to a world where distance is no longer a barrier to connection. Our newest prototype is our latest step toward this goal — allowing us to help more people feel connected, no matter where they are,” said Andrew Nartke, GM of Project Starline, in an official blog post.

Credit: Google

Testing the virtual waters

Google has already begun testing its system with a handful of select companies as part of its early access program. This includes everyone from the popular cloud-based software company Salesforce to US mobile provider T-Mobile and office-space leasing company WeWork. According to Google, they’re already seeing “promising” results.

“Trust and innovation are at the heart of Salesforce’s values,” said Andy White, SVP of Business Technology at Salesforce. “Project Starline has the potential to help create authentic and immersive connections that foster deeper relationships with both our employees and customers, enhance trust and transparency, and drive productivity and efficiency.”

Credit: Google

No word yet on when (or if) this prototype will become available as a consumer product. However, with recent data suggesting that remote work is likely here to stay, we could definitely see this technology taking off in multiple sectors, especially in its current slimmed-down form factor.

For more information on Google’s Project Starline check out the full blog post here.

Feature Image Credit: Google


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