“Project Starline, an innovative hyper realistic tech for video calling that will make you feel as if you are sitting right in front of the person.”
The pandemic has disrupted the way we work, commute and socialise. Few think that these changes will be permanent. Companies like Google are capitalising on this new normal with innovations that can revitalise our personal virtual spaces. The search giant now wants to offer an experience of interacting with your loved ones in the ways we never thought would be possible.
At the recently concluded Google I/O 2021 keynote, the company unveiled Project Starline, an innovative hyper realistic tech for video calling that will make you feel as if you are sitting right in front of the person. Over the years google has come up with some remarkable projects from google meet to google teams, to help us find ways to connect virtually with people no matter where we are. Another addition to the long list of ambitious developments is Project Starline that will change the dynamic of how we interact in a virtual space with anyone.
Google’s latest innovation is a gamer changer for virtual meets. Starline’s commercial availability can create problems for companies like Zoom, which took off during the pandemic. Google’s own “Meet” can be at risk! \
Project Starline creates photorealistic 3D images that have volume and depth. The technology uses custom made booths, which to some appear like a prison or a photo booth fitted with a glass panel. This new display system is partly encased in gray fabric and wood panel with a 65-inch display and a built-in bench. Project Starline uses more than a dozen different depth and imaging sensors. These sensors capture photorealistic, three-dimensional imagery which the system compresses and uploads it to both ends of the video conversation with apparent negligible delay. Google applies various special effects, including lighting and shadow .
Google claims that around a hundred employees are currently using Starline in Mountain View, Seattle, and New York.Even though Google’s vision of videoconferencing for the future feels surreal only a few of the executives had been permitted to witness it.
Google started working on Project Starline even before virtual workspaces went mainstream. Project Starline was more than five years ago in the making. However, there are a few limitations that Google needs to overcome before Starline could be turned into a commercial product. Google will have a hard time convincing its users of getting these “custom booths”. For now it has created enough buzz at the IO conference to get people excited for the future of Project Starline. Google has worked hard this year to redefine the ways we have been communicating over the last year. It has brought a plethora of technology that can in fact change the entire workspace allowing for a more effective collaboration between members.
Apart from photorealistic virtual tours, Google also wants to change the fundamentals of how we work. Google’s Productivity Suite now comes with a Smart chip that can greatly increase workspace productivity allowing one to connect with Google Docs more easily. With the simple use of an ‘@’ people can now view the person’s contact, location, job title as well as files and meetings to quickly collaborate with teammates.It will give the ability to the collaborators to quickly preview documents and go through meetings without changing tabs from their phone or web. Unlike Project Starline , the smart chips will roll out very soon.It will be available for use on the Google Sheets in the coming months. It will be exciting to see how these changes turn out to be after they launch.
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Ritika Sagar is currently pursuing PDG in Journalism from St. Xavier's, Mumbai. She is a journalist in the making who spends her time playing video games and analyzing the developments in the tech world.