Google hologram video call booths coming to WeWork, T-Mobile offices

Google hologram video call booths coming to WeWork, T-Mobile offices

Holograms are not just for dead celebrities more. In fact, it may not be long before you’re attending a virtual work meeting with realistic, 3D views of your colleagues.

That’s the future Google is working towards: the company says it is extension of testing of its Starline project, a 3D video calling booth where you can chat with holographic versions of your friends, family or co-workers. Afterwards testing cabins in their offices over the past year, the company now intends to place them in the offices of some of its corporate partners, including Salesforce, WeWork, T-Mobile and Hackensack Meridian Health.

Google says it will begin installing prototypes before the end of the year, and that the technology is already advanced enough to make it seem like the person you’re talking to is in the room with you — even if they’re on the other side of the world.

It’s “a magical window where users can talk, gesture and make eye contact with another person, life-size and in three dimensions,” the company said in a statement last week.

The technology combines machine learning, computer vision, spatial audio and light field display systems, Google says. It relies on an array of high-resolution cameras and custom depth sensors to capture a person’s shape and movements with enough fidelity to recreate a 3D view of them for a remote conversation.

Google has yet to reveal its ultimate plans for the technology, including whether it will eventually try to sell 3D video booths to businesses, consumers, or both. In offices, cubicles could theoretically be useful for meetings with remote workers, job candidates or corporate clients in other countries.

The Starline project is a response to the increase hybrid work arrangementswhere pandemic accommodation has led more companies to give workers the flexibility to split their time between working at home and in the office, Google notes.

“As we build the future of hybrid work together with our business partners, we look forward to seeing how Project Starline can help employees form stronger connections with each other, doctors create meaningful connections with their patients, and retailers forge deeper connections with their customers and customers.” , according to the company’s announcement.

Other tech companies are also touting products aimed at helping workers and employers navigate hybrid or fully remote work.

Mark Zuckerberg and Meta are betting on the role of the metaverse in the future of work, partnership with Zoom and Microsoft Teams to create virtual workspaces where meetings can be filled with cartoons, 3D digital avatars representing you and your associates. Bill Gates predicted that within a few years “most virtual meetings” could take place in the metaverse, using those kinds of digital avatars.

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