Technology

Google Hologram Video Calling Booths Coming to WeWork and T-Mobile Offices

Google Hologram Video Calling Booths Coming to WeWork and T-Mobile Offices
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Holograms aren’t just for dead celebrities plus. In fact, it may not be long before he attends a virtual work meeting with realistic 3D renderings of his colleagues.

That’s the future Google is working for: The company says it’s expanding tests of its Project Starline, 3D video call booths where you can chat with holographic versions of your friends, family or co-workers. After testing the booths in their own offices over the past year, the company now intends to put them in the offices of some of its corporate partners, including Salesforce, WeWork, T-Mobile, and Hackensack Meridian Health.

Google says it will start installing prototypes before the end of the year, and that the technology is already advanced enough that it looks 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 is “a magical window, where users can speak, gesture and make eye contact with another person, life-size and in three dimensions,” the company said in its announcement last week.

The technology says it combines machine learning, computer vision, spatial audio and light field visualization systems, Google. It relies on a series 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 final plans for the technology, including whether it will eventually sell the 3D video booths to businesses, consumers, or both. In offices, booths could theoretically be useful for meetings with remote workers, job candidates or corporate clients in other countries.

Project Starline is a response to the rise of hybrid work arrangementswhere pandemic adaptations have led to more and more companies giving 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 build strong connections with one another, doctors build meaningful connections with their patients, and vendors build connections.” deeper with its clients and customers,” the company said in its announcement.

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

Mark Zuckerberg and Meta are betting heavily on the role of the metaverse in the future of work association with Zoom and Microsoft Teams to create virtual workspaces where meetings can be filled with cartoons, 3D digital avatars who represent you and your co-workers. Bill Gates has predicted that within a few years, “most virtual meetings” could take place in the metaverse, using such digital avatars.

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