Google takes video-calling to the next level with Project Starline
By Bela Pitamber on Wednesday, May 26, 2021
More than ever before, people of all ages have relied on technology as both a means of communication and connection over the past year.
Although video calls have been sufficient in helping us feel closer to our loved ones, nothing beats the feeling of having them right there next to us. Welcome, Project Starline – Google’s latest tech project designed to make you feel as though the person you are communicating with is actually in front of you. A term which Google have coined ‘hyper-telepresence’.
The technology is so powerful that it captures the slightest of details, whether that is the texture of the caller’s hair, or a minute, insignificant gesture. Furthermore, it allows people to make eye-contact with each other, as if they were looking through a window.
This project combines software such as computer vision, machine learning, spatial audio and real-time compression with hardware like a new light field display system to create further volume and depth. The depth cameras generate and display life-size 3D models of people on screen in real time.
Currently, you can find Project Starline in a limited number of Google’s offices due to the highly specialised and custom-built equipment it needs to function. In the future however, Google aims to make the technology more affordable, accessible, and widespread.