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Google wants future video calls to feel like real life with Project Starline

There is release date for this yet, but Google plans to continue testing.

google project starline
Image: Google

COVID-19 and the shift to working from home have shown everyone that our current tools, while manageable, still leave much to be desired. Human interaction is important and low-quality webcam calls aren’t always going to cut it. Enter Project Starline.

Shown off at Google I/O this year, Project Starline wants your next video call to feel like you are literally sitting in the room with the other person. Still in early testing phases, the system uses an entire booth filled with cameras, lights, and sensors to accurately portrait the person.

Google describes it as “looking through a sort of magic window,” and if you watch the video below, you can definitely see where the company is coming from with that description.

Essentially, the system uses a large light field display combined with the sensors to make people look 3D, allowing the other user to feel like the person is there in the flesh, and Google even notes that the tech allows for people to make real eye contact with each other which definitely adds to the overall feel.

It’s a bulky system right now, however, so things would need to change if this tech ever wants to find itself in the homes of actual users. Currently, Google is testing the hardware in a select number of offices and wants to expand testing in the future.

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