Google is working on Project Starline to revolutionize video calls with virtual reality and augmented reality, bringing holograms to our virtual interaction.
A “magic window” that with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) allows people who connect by videoconference to have the sensation of being in the same room, since despite seeing each other on a screen they will be seen in real size, with volume and with depth.
This is the ambitious description that Andrew Nartker, co-founder and general manager of Project Starline , makes of the new Google prototype
What is it?
Nartker and his team have been working on this technology at Google for about seven years and this week they presented their prototype to some media, as part of the Google I/O developer event, which was held on the technology giant’s campus in Silicon Valley.
Using the latest model to make a videoconference is like watching a 3D movie -but without any kind of glasses-, since it seems that the other person could leave the screen and even pass objects. All this in real time.
“It’s a big screen that’s very flat. But you can see me as if I’m not flat. I come off the screen,” Nartker explains.
“So how do we do that? It’s a light field display, and the display knows where you’re looking because it’s sensing where each of your eyes is. It shows a different image to each eye. That’s how you get the 3D effect,” Explain.
Surrounding the screen are color cameras that take 2D images, which are processed. An AI model then generates “color and texture” and after sending the image to the internet, the receiver’s screen renders the 3D image.
“It has to be perfectly accurate and it has to happen almost instantly because any delay will start to show,” he added.
Nartker said that “building these systems is not too complex” and that “many companies could enable it,” but he did not say how much it would cost to a company or an individual to implement such a system.
Will it ever hit the market?
For now it is a prototype, but they are already testing it in various companies, such as T Mobile and WeWork.
Jason Lawrence, co-founder of the project and director of Project Starline ‘s research team, said that these types of meetings can be “more effective” than a 2D video conference.
“There are signs, such as head nods, hand gestures, or eye blinks, that indicate effective meeting dynamics. And one study found that there was a much higher amount of this type of activity in Starline than in a 2D-type meeting,” he concluded. Lawrence.