Google will now test Project Starline in the real world, which is a 3D video calling booth

Google’s been working on Project Starline since last year, an augmented reality video-calling booth that uses 3D imagery, high-resolution cameras and light field displays to create a lifelike experience with holographic images for callers on both sides of the screen. Now it says it’s expanding its real-world tests with an early access program that will see Starline used in the offices of enterprise partners, including Salesforce, WeWork, T-Mobile and Hackensack Meridian Health

The decision to install Project Starline prototypes in select partner offices means that they can start testing the prototypes later this year.

Until now, Google’s 3D calling booths were only available in the U.S. The company had also invited more than 100 enterprise partners to demo the technology in its offices and give their feedback about the experience.

Last week, Google announced a new partner-centric early access program. Partners will be able to test the features of the new call technology in their own offices and provide feedback about how a particular application would operate in the real world. Google says it hopes these insights will give them valuable information about specific obstacles that may face their products.

As Project Starline has grown, users have praised its realism. People who have been able to test the system say it’s an impressive technology in even early phases.

But there are still some unresolved questions about when, where, and how Starline will actually exist beyond just being a very cool tech demo. It’s not entirely clear if Google has plans to commercialize the technology, and what it would cost businesses to either purchase and maintain these booths, or if the demand is there for it in a world where Zoom and Google Meet are considered adequate solutions for virtual meetings.

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