I/O 2021: Google previews Project Starline, a next-gen technology that lets you video chat in 3D

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May 19, 2021 7:18 PM

In order to change video calling experience for users and make it more lifelike and immersive, Google is working on a next-gen video chat booth.

The fancy video chat setup- Project Starline uses multiple cameras as well as sensors to capture a person's appearance along with their shape from different perspectives. Image: Google

In order to change video calling experience for users and make it more lifelike and immersive, Google is working on a next-gen video chat booth. During the company’s I/O 2021 conference, a preview of Project Starline was shown where the company claimed that the project is aimed at allowing users to have an experience where the person they are talking to appears in front of them in 3D. Google said that people in 3D can be seen from different angles by moving.

The fancy video chat setup- Project Starline uses multiple cameras as well as sensors to capture a person’s appearance along with their shape from different perspectives. After this, the technology used stitches those together into a 3D model. This is broadcasted in real time while chatting.

“To make this experience possible, we are applying research in computer vision, machine learning, spatial audio and real-time compression,” read Google’s blog post. The company also added that it has also developed a breakthrough light field display system that is able to create a sense of volume and depth. This, according to the company, can be experienced without the need for additional glasses or headsets.

The preview rolled out by Google, Starline can be seen being used person-to-person calls. From the looks of it, the feature is not group chats as of now. “The effect is the feeling of a person sitting just across from you, like they are right there.”

As of now, Project Starline is only available in just a few of Google offices and it relies on custom-built hardware as well as highly specialized equipment. “We believe this is where person-to-person communication technology can and should go, and in time, our goal is to make this technology more affordable and accessible, including bringing some of these technical advancements into our suite of communication products,” Google added.

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