Starline Project, Google Expands Telepresence Kiosk Test

Do you remember Project Starline? It’s kind of Highly advanced video conferencing / telepresence system Developed by Google for some time and presented for the first time during the I/O conference in the spring of 2021. It is a booth where passengers are photographed and “scanned” in real time by a series of cameras, and their hologram is transmitted to the other booths participating in the conference the video. The company announced the expansion of real-world testing of the product: It will be deployed in the offices of companies such as Salesforce, WeWork, T-Mobile and Hackensack Meridian Health. Prototypes will be installed by the end of the year.

The news comes somewhat by surprise to the most attentive observers: In recent months, Google Very big renovations With the entire subdivision of District 120, its internal incubator, the renaming of its laboratories and the cancellation of about 50% of the projects. As we know, even the Mountain View giant was not immune to the difficult economic period, and thus its captain, Sundar Pichai, decided to pull the oars on the boat, a fairly standard practice in every sector – when things go badly. Try to contain expenses, in a nutshell.

So far, Starline kiosks have remained the prerogative of Google’s US offices; It’s been used by employees but not only – the company says it has invited more than 100 partners to try it out. The first reactions of the testers were mostly very positive – the experience is described as very realistic and The illusion of the actual existence of the quasi-ideal axes. According to the same Google research, a system like Starline can significantly increase employee attention, productivity and interest over traditional video calls.

It remains to be seen whether such a product will be commercially viable. It doesn’t take long to realize that it is very expensive (eg: 8K screen from 65″ to 60Hz, Four NVIDIA video cards – 2x Quadro RTX 6000 and 2x Titan RTX) One wonders if the benefits justify the investment. Moreover, even if the acute phase of the epidemic is now completely over, it is clear that at least for the near future a certain amount of remote work will remain a part of the daily routine of many people – especially those who work at an office in front of a computer.

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