The Google team is constantly striving to generate new ideas to turn them into ambitious projects quickly. According to the latest news of technology, one such promising project was recently presented, and it is a 3D video conferencing system called Project Starline.
Google developers are seriously working on a new innovative system aimed at introducing improved visualization during 3D video calls. Thus, users will be able to more clearly see and hear their interlocutor during a call, compared to already existing video call options. This new project, according to a press release from the company, combines advances in hardware and software to make people together, even when they are far from each other. Overall, Google developers intend to combine several technologies to make video communication as realistic as possible.
What is special about the new project?
The goal of the new project of Google is to add the effect of the almost complete presence of a person to video calls, when subscribers who are thousands of kilometers away from each other communicate as if through glass, like being in the same room. A new video calling system combines three key technologies: creating a 3D subscriber model, compressing data during transmission in real-time, and rendering a 3D image and voice at the other end of the wire. The new project is built on research in computer vision, machine learning, spatial sound, and online compression. The company has also developed an innovative light field imaging system that creates a sense of volume and depth that can be used without any auxiliary equipment. Google also reported that it is already holding trials of such systems in some of its offices.
Besides, the company does not determine any terms for bringing the new product to market but notes that it intends to supply such installations to corporate clients at the end of the year as part of a pilot project. It follows from a video published by Google that the video calling system consists of several cameras, sensors, and a large display located inside the stand. So far, the Starline system operates in only a few offices of the company, but by the end of the year, corporate demo samples will be installed. Starline will take time to scale since even the most expensive and complex technologies become cheaper, more compact, and more affordable over time.
Characteristics of the new system
In addition to the high-resolution camera required to record each participant in the video call, the Starline project will also require a depth camera to scan a person in three dimensions. All collected data is compressed and transmitted over the Internet to the interlocutor’s device, which allows you to recreate a 3D copy of a living person on the screen. At the same time, the person not only looks very realistic but also does not create the effect of an ominous valley, which is often the case with computer models of people, for example, when live actors are specially digitized for a role in a game. Also in the Starline project, so-called light field displays are used, which provide the user with different visual information depending on the angle from which they are viewed. This fact ensures that the 3D model on the screen is not distorted if the other person leans back a little and sits down more comfortably, which creates the full effect of the close presence of the other person.
Relevance of a new invention
The pandemic has demonstrated the importance and relevance of video communications technology to keep people connected no matter where they are. Nevertheless, the existing solutions have one big drawback – the image, no matter how clear and high-quality it is, does not allow you to feel the emotional closeness of the meeting as if you and your interlocutor met in life. Google’s Starline Project aims to address this gap While Starline is still under development, there is no data on when it will become a real product, and whether it will become one at all. The technology used requires a very fast and reliable internet connection, which is not very cheap, so the “magic window” is unlikely to appear on smartphones and tablets anytime soon. Meanwhile, in the official blog, Google mentions that it hopes to provide more information about the project this year, so, likely, Starline may still see the light of day. So far, the technology is now not accessible.
Google’s development activity
Google has come a long way since its humble beginnings as an Internet search engine. Not only does Google dominate the Internet search market and its name is becoming a verb, but Google has many other products, services, and projects to use.
Google is simultaneously working on various projects trying to follow the latest trends and introducing new technologies, managing to headline the latest news of technology. Thus, the users of the company can expect to receive new services and products on an ongoing basis.