As hybrid work expands its footprint, how we work and collaborate continues to evolve. We’re continuing to explore ways to bring teams together and facilitate employee connection from afar through technology. That’s why last year we announced Project Starline, a technology project that enables coworkers to feel like they are together, even when they are cities apart.
The technology works like a magic window, where users can talk, gesture and make eye contact with another person, life-size and in three dimensions. It is made possible through major research advances across machine learning, computer vision, spatial audio and light field display systems.
Today, Project Starline prototypes are found in Google offices across the U.S., with employees using the technology every day for meetings, employee onboarding and building rapport between colleagues. Results show Project Starline can increase employee presence, attentiveness, and productivity compared to traditional video calling solutions. People have described the experience as a natural interaction — expressing how connected they felt to the other person sitting across from them.
Beyond Google employees, we’ve also invited more than 100 enterprise partners in areas like media, healthcare and retail to participate in demos at Google’s offices and provide us with feedback on the experience and applications to their businesses. We see many ways Project Starline can add business value across a number of industries, and we remain focused on making it more accessible.
“The proliferation of hybrid work models is creating new opportunities to fundamentally rethink how we collaborate in the workplace,” says Scott Morey, president of technology & innovation at WeWork. “Project Starline is at the forefront of this shift, providing an incredible user experience that bridges the gap between our physical and virtual worlds. At WeWork, we believe this technology has the potential to enrich the employee experience – making connections more intentional and meaningful."
Today, we are expanding our testing efforts through an early access program with enterprise partners such as Salesforce, WeWork, T-Mobile and Hackensack Meridian Health1. Starting this year, we'll begin installing prototypes in select partner offices for regular testing.
"In today's digital-first world, companies need to provide the technology and tools to help employees be more productive and effective at work,” Andy White, SVP of Business Technology at Salesforce, tells us. “At Salesforce, we're constantly exploring new ways to deliver incredible experiences to our employees and customers around the world. Project Starline has the potential to drive deeper connections between people by bridging in-person and virtual experiences."
As we build the future of hybrid work together with our enterprise partners, we look forward to seeing how Project Starline can help employees form strong ties with one another, doctors form meaningful bonds with their patients, and salespeople make deeper connections with their clients and customers. Whether you’re presenting to a colleague or just sitting down for a coffee chat, we want the Project Starline experience to feel natural, as if the person is sitting in the same room as you. More broadly, we are eager to enable workforces to feel energized and productive when collaborating from afar. We look forward to sharing more about what we learn from our early access program next year.