Successful technology usually takes off when it helps to improve human communication. Google’s new communication tool, Project Starline, has decided to add Star Trek style view screens to the real world.
Project Starline is just Star Trek
Shown in a new Google Blog post, this new technology acts as a “magic window” for communication. Google explains that the project aims to enable “coworkers to feel like they are together, even when they are cities apart”.
In the past year, big tech companies have worked to create new forms of workplace communication. Following the success of Zoom remote working, companies like Meta have decided to create virtual reality metaverses for work. However, most people don’t care about that.
Google’s new project instead relies on augmented reality, projecting other humans onto existing spaces. Described as a “magic window”, the technology looks similar to Star Trek view screens, albeit with humans cut out from their backgrounds.
“[Using Starline], users can talk, gesture and make eye contact with another person, life-size and in three dimensions. It is made possible through major research advances across machine learning, computer vision, spatial audio and light field display systems.”
Starline aims to make communication seamless across a wide range of viewing angles. This means that you’ll be able to see a 3D representation of other people from different angles as you move around the viewscreen.
“Whether you’re presenting to a colleague or just sitting down for a coffee chat,” Google said. “We want the Project Starline experience to feel natural, as if the person is sitting in the same room as you. More broadly, we are eager to enable workforces to feel energized and productive when collaborating from afar.”
Starting testing right now
Google revealed that Project Starline is already active in a number of US Google offices. The company claimed that this technology is used “every day for meetings, employee onboarding and building rapport between colleagues”.
However, more importantly, the technology has started to be used by other companies. Google revealed that it already has “more than 100 enterprise partners in areas like media, healthcare and retail.” Prototype hardware will be installed for some of these partners this year.
As it is, this new technology likely won’t revolutionise human communication. However, it may offer a unique, relaxing way to interact professionally, although we doubt we’ll see any of this in the home for the foreseeable future.