Google has recently unveiled its latest prototype for "Project Starline," a telepresence system that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to create a 3D model of a person during a video call. The technology aims to make video calls more realistic by projecting a lifelike image of the person on a light field display that gives a unique sense of volume and depth. The result is a life-size and accurate image of the person as if they were right in front of you.
The system uses advanced AI to build the photorealistic model of the person, making it possible to talk, gesture and make eye contact with them in three dimensions. The latest version of Project Starline requires only a few standard cameras to produce high-quality 3D images and takes up about as much space as a flat-screen TV, making it much easier to deploy.
Google provided prototypes of Project Starline to several companies, including Salesforce, T-Mobile, and WeWork, to gather real-world data on how the technology can be used by distributed workforces with employees around the world. Companies are optimistic that Project Starline can create authentic and immersive connections that can foster deeper relationships with both their employees and customers, enhance trust and transparency, and drive productivity and efficiency.
Google has been working on Project Starline since 2021, and they have been able to trim down the size of the system and simplify the technology needed to make it work. Earlier versions of the telepresence technology were roughly the size of a small room or a booth at a restaurant and required hardware that might be harder for many businesses to acquire, such as special cameras and infrared light emitters.
Google hasn't provided a timeline for when Project Starline will be available commercially for businesses or consumers. However, with the latest prototype being more compact and easier to deploy, it is possible that the technology will be available in the near future.