Google's Project Starline is now much smaller, thanks to AI

Google's new look from I/O 2023 at Project Starline.
(Image credit: Google)

What you need to know

  • Google shared some details about Project Starline during I/O 2023.
  • The new prototype is much smaller and streamlined as opposed to the clunkier, booth-like design from 2021.
  • Project Starline uses AI to create a projected photorealistic model of the person you're talking to, giving them life-like depth and volume.

Feeling like you're there with the person you're talking to on a video chat is what gives it its charm. Google has taken a couple of years to continue working on Project Starline and has returned with an improved, streamlined version of what we saw previously in 2021.

Project Starline uses AI to create a photorealistic model of the person you're talking to and their likeness is then projected and given volume and depth as if they're right there with you. Google's Keyword post gives us some insight into how things have changed from the initial version we saw two years ago. The main highlight of its reappearance is Project Starline's new prototype no longer takes up so much space within a given room.

Back in 2021, Project Starline looked more like a booth one would see on the Death Star in Star Wars. Project Starline's new design brings the video chatting system more in line with the likes of a large TV in your living room.

This previous design also utilized infrared light emitters and unique cameras required by the project to bring those 3D images to life. Now, Google's fresh new take on its AI techniques makes it so Project Starline only needs regular cameras to work its magic of higher quality, near-life-like 3D images. Now, the overall design of Project Starline should fit in rooms of a home or a conference room as it does away with those old, clunkier hindrances.

Google cites some of the testing and feedback it received from experimenters such as Salesforce, T-Mobile, and WeWork. The company says it has "seen promising results that Project Starline helps build stronger personal connections, reduces meeting fatigue, and increases attentiveness."

Project Starline's earlier 2021 appearance showed what the future of video calling might look like with Google at the rear. Google stated at the time that it wanted the technology to "create the feeling of being together with someone, just like they're actually there." In addition to Project Starline using multiple depth sensors and a light field display system, the prototype also uses spatial audio and real-time compression.

Google I/O 2023 was packed with everything AI the Mountain View-based company is venturing into alongside the launch of a few highly-anticipated devices. Our event roundup holds some quick details about the near-two-hour keynote event so you can get caught up.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.