In the past year, we’ve depended on video calls for work and to keep us connected with friends and family, more than ever.
Google recently unveiled Project Starline – a tech project that aims to bring video calls closer to the real deal, so realistic that it feels as if the person you were talking to were actually in front of you. Google calls it ‘hyper-telepresence’.
The technology captures even the slightest details – like gestures, the texture of the caller’s hair as they move, and even allows people to make eye contact with each other, as if they were looking through a window.
The project combines software like computer vision, machine learning, spatial audio and real-time compression with hardware like a new light field display system to create more volume and depth, without VR glasses.
The depth cameras generate 3D maps of the callers, compress it, and display life-size 3D models of people on the screen in real time.
As of now, Project Starline is only available in a few of Google’s offices as it requires custom-built hardware and highly specialised equipment.
The company aims to make the technology more affordable and accessible in the coming future.