Just over a year since its introduction, Google’s Project Starline is taking another giant stride forward. Announced in 2021 as a revolutionary leap in video conferencing technology, the latest update promises to bring the magic of 3D communication into more offices and homes around the world.

Project Starline was first introduced as a “magic window” that allowed users to converse as though they were sitting across from each other, even when located cities or countries apart. The system leveraged high-resolution cameras and custom depth sensor technology, coupled with advanced AI algorithms, to create a photorealistic 3D model of the person you were talking to. The result was a lifelike image that felt as if the other person were right in front of you.

Despite the initial excitement, the technology’s requirement for specialized equipment and the sheer space it demanded limited its deployment. Google was aware of these limitations and has now announced a breakthrough that makes Project Starline more accessible than ever.

The latest prototype of Project Starline features a simplified design, which Google says is enabled by advancements in AI. The large, room-sized setup has been replaced with a system that can fit into a conventional office or meeting room. The need for a multitude of specialized cameras and infrared light emitters has been reduced to just a few standard cameras. The result? A lifelike 3D video conferencing solution that resembles a traditional flat-screen TV setup, increasing its deployability and accessibility.

This new prototype has been tested with partners such as Salesforce, T-Mobile, and WeWork as part of Google’s early access program. Feedback from these partners has shown that Project Starline increases personal connections, reduces meeting fatigue, and boosts attentiveness.

“Trust and innovation are at the heart of Salesforce’s values,” says Andy White, SVP of Business Technology at Salesforce. “Project Starline has the potential to help create authentic and immersive connections that foster deeper relationships with both our employees and customers, enhance trust and transparency, and drive productivity and efficiency.”

As hybrid work models become increasingly prevalent, Project Starline could play a crucial role in enhancing collaboration. The technology provides a more immersive and personal interaction than traditional video calling solutions, bridging the gap between physical and virtual interactions.

While Google continues to refine and develop Project Starline, it is clear that this technology has the potential to redefine the way we communicate. By making it more accessible and easier to deploy, Google is paving the way for a future where long-distance communication feels as natural as being in the same room. This latest update to Project Starline is not just a step forward for Google, but a leap forward for the future of video conferencing.