HP, Google bring Starline collaboration out of lab and into workplace

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HP has announced it is partnering with Google to start commercialising the latter’s Starline communications technology with a focus on connecting distributed teams and individuals in the workplace.

First announced in 2021, Project Starline was developed to address the needs of a business world where, according to Google, companies have settled into a new normal of hybrid and distributed work, and where remote communication technology remains critical for connecting and collaborating with colleagues.

Yet, while acknowledging that such technology has improved, Google said the core user experience was often falling short. In particular, it warned that conversations could feel stilted, attention could be difficult to maintain and usage was fatiguing.

Google said Starline is a breakthrough that offers a genuinely realistic meeting experience. It aims to take advantage of the fact that more than half of meaning and intent is communicated through body language versus words alone, meaning an immersive collaboration experience can play an important role in creating authentic human connections in hybrid work environments.

Using advancements in artificial intelligence, 3D imaging and other technologies, Starline creates what is claimed to be a unique, lifelike interaction that feels more like being together in the same room than conventional video calls. It’s described by Google as working like a “magic window” where people can talk, gesture and make eye contact just like they could if they were in the same room.

After what it said was thousands of hours of testing across offices and with enterprise partners, Google said it found meetings in Starline felt more like being in the same room instead of traditional video calls. This leads to better attentiveness, memory recall and an overall sense of presence. In Starline, people are said to be able to act “like they’re in-person, not thousands of miles apart”.

Google revealed the project had developed to the point where it was able to bring the technology out of the lab with a focus on connecting distributed teams and individuals in the workplace. To that end, it was partnering with HP to start the commercialisation of the experience in 2025, and was working to enable it directly from video conferencing services such as Google Meet and Zoom.

Describing its part in the project, HP was confident that its expertise in computing, combined with its investment in Poly’s collaboration services, makes the company well-equipped to deliver the hardware needed for this new and innovative experience.

“Our strong partnerships in unified communications, audiovisual technology and the collaboration space, along with our global presence and salesforce, will help bring the unique Starline experience to more people worldwide,” said Alex Cho, president of personal systems at HP.

“We are proud to partner with Google to bring this technology to market, harnessing the power of AI to shape the future of collaboration. We look forward to sharing more details later this year.”


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