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Google Reveals Newest Undertaking Starline Prototype, Its Gentle-field Telepresence Platform


It’s been practically two years since Google first launched Undertaking Starline, a telepresence platform designed to facilitate natural-feeling distant communication between two folks. Whereas we haven’t heard a lot concerning the undertaking, the corporate not too long ago confirmed it’s nonetheless ongoing, not too long ago revealing a extra compact and reasonably priced system.

Undertaking Starline was first revealed again at Google I/O 2021, with the objective of constructing it really feel such as you’re sitting in entrance of one other particular person, despite the fact that they’re distant. Utilizing a bevy of sensors, a light-field show, spatial audio, and novel compression, Google says it’s in a position to recreate a really immersive likeness of the particular person on the opposite finish.

We haven’t heard an excessive amount of about Undertaking Starline within the intervening years, however final week at Google I/O 2023 we received a small replace confirming the undertaking continues to be ongoing and bettering:

The replace introduces the most recent prototype which shrinks the system considerably from a big sales space to a extra streamlined setup that seems to make use of commodity depth cameras and fewer of them. Google says that makes the most recent prototype “extra sensible,” and says that choose corporations are trialing the brand new model.

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“Our earlier Undertaking Starline prototypes took up a whole room, requiring advanced {hardware} similar to infrared gentle emitters and particular cameras to create a reside 3D mannequin of the particular person you had been speaking to. Whereas the outcomes had been spectacular, the dimensions and complexity of the system made it difficult to carry to lots of right this moment’s places of work,” the corporate writes in an replace on the undertaking. “So for our newest prototype, we developed new AI methods that solely require just a few normal cameras to supply increased high quality, lifelike 3D photos. Thanks to those developments, our prototype now resembles a extra conventional video conferencing system—going from the dimensions of a restaurant sales space to a flat-screen TV—that’s extra deployable and accessible.”

Regardless of shrinking issues down, Google confirms the system nonetheless makes use of a light-field show which creates a real 3D picture with out the necessity for glasses. Nonetheless we nonetheless don’t know a lot concerning the particular show getting used.

Your complete premise behind Undertaking Starline is that representing distant contributors extra realistically results in higher conversations. To that finish the corporate not too long ago identified a number of research offering proof that the system can carry “improved dialog dynamics, diminished video assembly fatigue, and elevated attentiveness.”

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