Project Starline is Google’s experiment in making holodeck-like 3D holograms

  • Project Starline was briefly introduced today at Google I / O 2021.
  • This experiment focuses on creating photo-realistic 3D models for video conferencing.
  • The technology can be used to create the impression that users are chatting with someone else as if they are actually in the same room.

Humanity may have come one step closer to experiencing the Star Trek: The Next Generation holodeck. We saw Project Starline for the first time at the keynote on Google I / O 2021. The new technology is designed to make you believe that you are chatting with someone else who is meters away, even if that other person may be thousands of kilometers away.

As shown in the video above, Project Starline has a person sitting in front of a pane of glass. He or she then sees a person in that glass. Instead of a 2D video, however, the person in the glass is shown in 3D and photo-realistic. People could have this experience while chatting between California and New York City. According to Google’s blog post, this technology combines new functions in the areas of “computer vision, machine learning, spatial audio and real-time compression”. Most importantly, Project Starline uses an entirely new display system that allows 3D images to have depth and volume to the naked eye without the need for special glasses.

Wired published an article with more information on this experiment. Project Starline uses bespoke booths with over a dozen depth sensors and cameras to create the 3D models of people. Some additional special effects have also been added, such as: B. Changes to lighting and shadows. The 3D model is transmitted via the standard WebRTC infrastructure.

Wired’s Article says that the photorealistic illusion of the image disappears if you move a few inches to the right or left. Also, some random artifacts appeared while the reporter was using the demo. Note, however, that this is still very early on for this project. Google would like to reduce the hardware for future versions to a manageable level. The company is doing very early trials with some corporate and media customers. The project is slated to open to even more corporate users later in 2021.

The demo video really helps sell Project Starline as a future video conferencing opportunity. The question, however, is how long will it be before it works for the general public or business customers. For now, your guess is as good as ours, but we’ll keep you updated as we learn more.

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