Google Starline

In the last period we have been forced to move our relationships with colleagues, friends and relatives online. The impossibility of traveling and smart working have in fact introduced new habits, needs and means to share, collaborate and connect.

The biggest dream? Be face to face with your interlocutor.
Google wants to make this not just a dream, but a not too distant reality.

During this year’s Google I/O, among the many innovations, Project Starline was presented, a futuristic technology that could be the revolution of current video chats.

There are many videoconferencing technologies available and accessible to the general public, including Microsoft Team, Meet or Zoom, but none of these allow for good image quality.

Project Starline makes two-way communication engaging and realistic.

A Magic Window

Google’s ambitious project combines hardware and software advances to allow two people to feel together, even when they are far apart. The lucky ones who have already been able to try it describe it as a tool that allows you to “look through a sort of magical window”, through which it is possible to see a person in life size and in three dimensions.

To make this innovative experience possible, Google is applying research in different areas: 3D computer vision, machine learning, spatial audio and real-time compression.

A light field display system has also been developed, which creates a sense of volume and depth that can be experienced without the need for additional glasses or headsets.
The dozens of cameras and sensors that take the image and then reconstruct it in three dimensions on the other user’s screen play a fundamental role.
And as soon as you sit down, the technology blurs the background, so you can focus on what’s most important: the person in front of you.

Concept in development

The Project Starline is currently only available in some Google offices.
However, this technology is currently far from being applied on a large scale because it is based on custom built hardware and highly specialized equipment.

According to Google, this is the goal that communication between people can and must reach.

Over time, however, this technology will need to be made cheaper and more accessible before being distributed to the public.
The goal now is to extend this project to reality, starting with selected business partners such as healthcare and the media to obtain quick feedback on its effectiveness.