Google Is Taking 3D Video Calls With Lifelike Avatars To Office Settings

Oct 14, 2022
Google Is Taking 3D Video Calls With Lifelike Avatars To Office Settings

The pandemic has undoubtedly pushed tech giants to think outside of the box in terms of the way people connect and communicate. While life may be returning to normal, though, the virus has left an indelible mark particularly in the workplace. 

Last year, Google introduced ‘Project Starline’ in hopes to replace tiresome video calls with hyperrealistic experiences. Starline relies on 3D imagery, depth sensors, high-resolution cameras, and light field display to bring your calls to life.

As a result, what was once a glitchy experience with your chat partner appearing as a pixelated version of themselves is now a futuristic, holographic conversation that feels like you could reach out and touch them. 


After a year of tests in its own Google offices, it is ready to take Starline to actual workplaces for employees to connect with coworkers globally. 


In a post made by Google to announce the new development in the project, it states that the chat station is being implemented in Salesforce, WeWork, T-Mobile, and Hackensack Meridian Health offices. 


The test is a win-win solution that allows businesses to try out this new frontier in video meetings while Google can collect data and feedback to help tweak the program further down the line.


Andy White, SVP of Business Technology at Salesforce, notes: “In today’s digital-first world, companies need to provide the technology and tools to help employees be more productive and effective at work.” He elaborates that Starline could provide an avenue permitting workers to better bridge in-person meetings throughout offices worldwide.


Prior to this, the company had released a video that demonstrated different pairs of people testing the system out. It was a little unnerving upon first watching, as you would have to remind yourself that these two participants are not being separated by a divider in the same room but are actually in different locations altogether. 


The realism of the call was marred only partially by the edges of the person’s body that glitched now and then—an effect one might only notice if they squinted. Other than that, it’d be easy to forget you were not sitting in front of your loved one or coworker.


Starline is taking a different approach to VR conferences while other companies—Meta included—work on diversifying avatars and developing eye trackers and cameras to relay facial expressions. Google, instead, wants to put you in the room with who you’re meeting, even if you’re a continent apart.

However, there is no word now on when the program will be ready for commercial use. Google mentions that more information learned from the tests will be released next year.

Source: designtaxi