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How we’re testing Project Starline at Google

This May at Google I/O 2021, we shared our vision for Project Starline, a technology project that combines advances in hardware and software to enable friends, families and coworkers to feel together, even when they’re cities (or countries) apart.Project Starline is the culmination of advances we’ve made across 3D imaging, real-time compression, spatial audio and…

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This May at Google I/O 2021, we shared our vision for Project Starline, a technology project that combines advances in hardware and software to enable friends, families and coworkers to feel together, even when they’re cities (or countries) apart.

Project Starline is the culmination of advances we’ve made across 3D imaging, real-time compression, spatial audio and our breakthrough light field display system that, when combined, enables a sense of depth and realism that feels like in-person communication. We recently described some of these advancements in a technical paper, Project Starline: A high-fidelity telepresence system, which we’re honored to have had accepted for publication at SIGGRAPH Asia.

As we’ve started expanding Project Starline’s availability in more Google offices around the United States, we’ve been encouraged by the promising feedback. Google employees have spent thousands of hours using Project Starline to onboard, interview and meet new teammates, pitch ideas to colleagues and engage in one-on-one collaboration. Many users noted how powerful the ability to make eye contact was, and how much more engaged and connected they felt. One user compared their experience to a coffee chat – a genuine interaction that makes you want to lean in and focus on the other person.

We measured the impact of hundreds of Google employees’ experiences with Project Starline, and the results showed that it feels much closer to being in the same room with someone than traditional video calls. We saw an increase in some of the most important signals that are often lost in video calls, such as attentiveness, memory recall and overall sense of presence. Here’s what we found when comparing Project Starline to traditional video calls:

  • People displayed more non-verbal behaviors such as ~40% more hand gestures, ~25% more head nods and ~50% more eyebrow movements.
  • People had much better memory recall when using Project Starline, tracking nearly ~30% better when being asked to recall details of their conversation or the content of a meeting.
  • People focused ~15% more on their meeting partner in an eye-tracking experiment, suggesting that visual attentiveness is enhanced when using Project Starline.

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A milestone for King’s Cross: a local innovation hub

Over the last few years, King’s Cross has truly transformed, becoming a thriving hub of innovation and creativity. The transformation is a sign of the UK’s strengths, with its incredible local talent and strong history of leading technological and scientific progress. These strengths inspired us to invest here in King’s Cross, in one of our…

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Over the last few years, King’s Cross has truly transformed, becoming a thriving hub of innovation and creativity. The transformation is a sign of the UK’s strengths, with its incredible local talent and strong history of leading technological and scientific progress. These strengths inspired us to invest here in King’s Cross, in one of our most ambitious developments to date.

Today, together with local MP, Keir Starmer, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, leader of Camden Council Georgia Gould, and our building partners, we celebrated a major milestone in the construction of our new King’s Cross office – and in our long-standing commitment to the UK – as we placed the final beam on our new development.

Keir Starmer, Leader of the Labour Party and MP for Holborn and St Pancras said:

“It’s fantastic to attend not only as the leader of the Labour Party and local MP but as a proud local resident of more than 25 years. Congratulations to Google on your magnificent new building, and for all it represents – a seizing of opportunity, harnessing of talent, the creation of good, sustainable jobs and an immense contribution to our community. You’re showing what can be achieved when forward looking local government partners with the ingenuity of the private sector.”

We have long believed that creativity is spurred by environments that promote connection and wellbeing. This is more important than ever as we adapt to a future of flexible, hybrid working. Our new King’s Cross building will be equipped with new workplace technologies to help global and remote teams collaborate more effectively, build relationships, learn from colleagues and dream up new ways to solve complex challenges.

It will also be a place for community and connection thanks to the ground floor retail and community spaces, which are being curated with — and for — the local community. In the coming weeks, in partnership with more than 30 youth organisations in Camden, we’re excited to open our doors to 500 local young people for a week of taster sessions to inspire school students and job seekers with careers in technology, as well as more than 100 local work experience students.

Innovation extends to the design of the building itself, which is playing an important role in helping us to achieve our goal of going carbon free by 2030. We’re pioneering new technologies that will make our King’s Cross office our most ambitious smart building to date, including a system of 13,500 interconnected devices that will work together to improve energy efficiency in real time.

While the doors of our new King’s Cross development won’t open until 2024, incredible work is already underway nearby. The neighbourhood is home to thousands of our engineers working on products like Android, Wear OS, Search and Google Business Profiles, which are used the world over. In fact, many of the team behind some of our newest products – to be released later this year – are based right here in King’s Cross. We look forward to growing these teams and being a part of the local community’s future growth and development.

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Protecting people’s privacy on health topics

Privacy matters to people — especially around topics such as their health. Given that these issues apply to healthcare providers, telecommunications companies, banks, tech platforms, and many more, we know privacy protections cannot be solely up to individual companies or states acting individually. That’s why we’ve long advocated for a comprehensive and nationwide U.S. privacy…

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Privacy matters to people — especially around topics such as their health. Given that these issues apply to healthcare providers, telecommunications companies, banks, tech platforms, and many more, we know privacy protections cannot be solely up to individual companies or states acting individually. That’s why we’ve long advocated for a comprehensive and nationwide U.S. privacy law that guarantees protections for everyone, and we’re pleased to see recent progress in Congress.

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Google and U.S. developers find agreement over Google Play store

Finally, we’ve heard developers want to understand more about how Google Play operates, which is why we’ve agreed to publish annual transparency reports. The reports will share information about the Google Play Store, including statistics such as apps removed from Google Play, account terminations, and other data regarding how users interact with Google Play. Source

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Finally, we’ve heard developers want to understand more about how Google Play operates, which is why we’ve agreed to publish annual transparency reports. The reports will share information about the Google Play Store, including statistics such as apps removed from Google Play, account terminations, and other data regarding how users interact with Google Play.

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