If you have wondered what the future of communications technology would look like, you would probably think of talking to a 3D hologram projection of a friend or family member like in sci-fi movies instead of through a screen.
That future is, now!
Things which once seemed impossible is now not far from reality. Despite the accessibility and advancements in communication tools we have today, they lack the authentic human connection of physical interaction.
This is where Google’s Project Starline come into play!
Unlike a Zoom call on the screen, you actually see the person sitting across from you. This project was inspired of the notion that we could use technology to create the same feeling of being together with someone, physically.
An apt creation for the Pandemic!
While this technology seems new and much more advanced to us, Google has been working on this project under wraps for the past few years to create that more authentic feeling of being together, though you could be cities or countries apart.
The hardware and software advances combined in this project include applied research in computer vision, machine learning, spatial audio, and real-time compression.
They have also developed a 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 result? The feeling of a person just sitting across you, like they are really right there.
“One of the things we are most proud of is that as soon as you sit down and start talking, the technology fades into the background, and you can focus on what’s most important: the person in front of you,” stated Google’s VP of Virtual and Augmented Reality, Clay Bavor on the Google blog.
Currently, Project Starline is only available in a few Google offices as an arcade-like video booth, and has been tested by connecting colleagues from the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, and Seattle, Washington. Google had also conducted demos with media and healthcare partners, and plans to commence trial deployments with enterprise partners later this year.
As for when we are able to have access to this sweet technology, only time will tell. As it stands, Project Starline is made with highly specialised technology so it’s not going to be easily accessible to us too soon.
However, we can surely hope for it to happen. Since Google believes this is where communications technology should be going, they have plans to one day make this project accessible and affordable – what more include it into their suite of communication products. So do be on the lookout.