Improving Telepresence with Project Starline from Google
During this pandemic time, it’s now become a norm to have regular video conference with your family, friends and colleague using communication tools such as Zoom, Google Meet or Microsoft Teams. Although the communication happen in real time and you can see their faces, but do you have a feeling that you and them are still very far away with each other? Well, perhaps that kinda feeling will be history in the near future with “Project Starline“.
Recently, Google announced about its project called “Project Starline” in their website. It is about the improved and enhanced way to communicate more naturally with the people in remote. Basically, it is an improved telepresence technology that allows you to feel that the other person is together with you in the same location.
It looks like as if they sit together with you, chatting and laughing at the same table. You will not feel bounded with the small rectangle surrounding the image of that person like the current tools that we have right now. The experience will be similar like how you chat with your neighbor near the window.
One good thing about this solution is that you don’t need to wear any special virtual reality headset or glasses. But, surely you’ll need a much bigger and larger screen display for this.
How Project Starline Make It Work?
To come up with this kind of solution, Google has performed lot of research in computer vision, machine learning, spatial audio and real-time compression. In a nutshell, there are three steps to make it work:
- First, is by using 3D imaging technology to fully capture the appearance of the person.
- Second, is the real-time compression technique in order to compress the information and send it over the network.
- The last one is to render that person so it can be viewable using the 3D display. In regards to this, Google has manage to develop an improved light field display system. That system make it possible to create the sense of volume and depth to the display so you can experience it with your naked eyes.
Perhaps, this video below can help you to understand it better…
Looks cool and promising, isn’t it? Sad news is that, since the technology require custom-built hardware with special equipment, it is only available at few Google offices for now.
Perhaps, when it is affordable enough in the near future, then we can see it in the market. For more info about Project Starline, you can read it at:
- “Project Starline: Feel like you’re there, together” from Google Blog.