Google is developing a next-generation video chat booth that allows the person you're chatting with to appear in 3D in front of you. Moving around allows you to see them from different angles and even make eye contact, Google said today during a preview of the project at its I/O conference.
The system is known as "Project Starline," and it is essentially a rather, quite fancy video chat setup. The platform employs multiple cameras and sensors to capture a person's appearance and shape from various angles. It then stitches those together to create a 3D model, which is broadcast in real-time to whoever they're chatting with.
Right now, the system is massive. It appears to be a full-fledged booth, complete with light, cameras, and a bench to sit on. According to Google, it relies on "custom-built hardware and highly specialized equipment." According to Wired, the booth has over a dozen different depth sensors and a 65-inch "light field display" to make people appear in 3D.
Over a year of consistent reliance on video chatting — and as businesses plan futures in where they will rely on video chats more than ever — the prospect of more realistic remote calls is exciting. According to Google, Project Starline is a long way from being found in every office, let alone in your home.