As the world prepares for the Metaverse, Google’s ‘Project Starline’, a technology project that would enable friends, families and coworkers to be together virtually, even when they’re cities (or countries) apart, has revealed that it feels much closer to being in the same room with someone via a telepresence system than traditional video calls.
During a ‘Project Starline’ test, Google saw an increase in some of the most important signals that are often lost in video calls, such as attentiveness, memory recall and overall sense of presence.
“Project Starline is the culmination of advances we’ve made across 3D imaging, real-time compression, spatial audio and our breakthrough light field display system that, when combined, enables a sense of depth and realism that feels like in-person communication,” according to the company.
The tech giant first shared its vision around ‘Project Starline’ at Google I/O 2021 in May this year.
Google employees then spent thousands of hours using ‘Project Starline’ to onboard, interview and meet new teammates, pitch ideas to colleagues and engage in one-on-one collaboration.
People displayed more non-verbal behaviours such as 40 per cent more hand gestures, 25 per cent more head nods and 50 per cent more eyebrow movements.
“People had much better memory recall when using Project Starline, tracking nearly 30 per cent better when being asked to recall details of their conversation or the content of a meeting,” the findings showed.
People also focused 15 per cent more on their meeting partner in an eye-tracking experiment, suggesting that visual attentiveness is enhanced when using ‘Project Starline’.
“These early results show promise for Project Starline’s ability to facilitate more personal connections from afar,” said Andrew Nartker, Director, Product Management, in a blog post.