It is pretty common for big tech companies to spend part of the fortune they have built through their regular products, into experimental and mostly futuristic tech. One such experimental tech that Google introduced us today at the I/O 2021, was ‘Project Starline’.
To understand this, let us put some context.
As Google rightly puts, communication has surely evolved over time. From sending emails to making phone calls, video calls at the click of a button, communication tech has evolved leaps and bounds. But then, despite all of it, despite those HD video calls, there is still a lacuna when it comes to actually being able to feel the presence of the person you are speaking with.
This lacuna of ‘feel’ is what Google aims to tackle, and hence comes in ‘Project Starline’.
Now as futuristic and hip that name sounds, the tech too is pretty solid. ‘Project Starline’ is a combination of 3D imaging software and hardware tech, enabling people to see each other real-time, through a Window-like piece of hardware. Google has attempted to combine advances in hardware and software to enable friends, families and coworkers to feel together, even when they’re cities (or countries) apart.
And it isn’t your usual image projection tech. It is actually much more. You can image ‘Project Starline’ to be like a magic window of sorts, through which, you see another person, life-size and in three dimensions. You can talk naturally, gesture and make eye contact as well.
To make this experience possible, Google says it is applying research in computer vision, machine learning, spatial audio and real-time compression. The company has also developed a breakthrough light field display system that creates a sense of volume and depth that can be experienced without the need for additional glasses or headsets.
The effect is the feeling of a person sitting just across from you, like they are right there.
Google says that the tech is still experimental and that it has been internally asking Googlers to use and review the same. The company will share more on ‘Project Starline’ later this year.
Department of Information Technologies: https://www.ibu.edu.ba/department-of-information-technologies/