Google has unveiled Project Starline, an immersive video chat setup that can create 3D life-size models of speakers during its annual ‘Google I/O’ developer conference. The glasses-free system uses a combination of multiple cameras and sensors to capture the speaker’s appearance from various angles making it appear as if they’re sitting in front of you. In its preview, Google showcased a conversation between two speakers using the prototype, which was developed through research in spatial audio, real-time compression, machine learning, and computer vision.

Resembling a photo booth, the system creates a real-time 3D depth map of the speakers. The data is then compressed and sent to the other side to display a photorealistic 3D representation of each person. It also uses a light field display system, which enables a more reliable sense of volume and depth during the video call without requiring a headset or glasses. The setup is currently only being used in Google offices, but the company plans to deploy it on a trial basis with enterprises later this year.

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