Google unveils its vision of the future of video calling

Project Starline
(Image credit: Google)

With the need for high-quality video conferencing calls unprecedented due to the pandemic, Google has revealed a concept that re-imagines how a meeting can be displayed.

At Google I/O 2021, the company showed off how its new Project Starline experience creates a 3D display of people during a video conferencing call, all within a booth.

Using a multitude of technologies including machine learning, spatial audio and real-time compression, the platform creates a 3D model of the user, projected onto a screen - giving the impression of being sat opposite your call companions.

What is Project Starline

While only a short mention at the Google I/O 2021 keynote, Project Starline hopes to revolutionise how professionals communicate with others through video calls. Whilst only available in some of Google’s offices for now, the technology requires a mix of specialized hardware and software to create the illusion of your associate sitting across from you, as if you’re in a meeting room.

The experience is possible without any further accessories from the user - they only need to sit down and wait for their colleague to appear opposite them

Clay Bavor, VP of Google, provided further insight into Project Starline, detailing that demos with enterprise partners are currently in progress, saying

“We've also been conducting demos with select enterprise partners in areas like healthcare and media to get early feedback on the technology and its applications. We’re planning trial deployments with enterprise partners later this year.

“We’re really excited about the progress we’re making with Project Starline, and the technology’s potential to solve the important problem of wanting to be together with someone even when you physically can’t.”

Daryl Baxter
Software & Downloads Writer

Daryl had been freelancing for 3 years before joining TechRadar, now reporting on everything software-related. In his spare time, he's written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider'. His second book, '50 Years of Boss Fights', came out in June 2024, and has a newsletter, 'Springboard'. He's usually found playing games old and new on his Steam Deck and MacBook Pro. If you have a story about an updated app, one that's about to launch, or just anything Software-related, drop him a line.