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Google Shares Its Vision for Future of Collaboration

At its annual developer conference Google I/O, Google this week unveiled its latest augmented reality/virtual reality initiative Project Starline and announced a host of updates for its collaboration suite Google Workspace.
Available in just several Google offices currently, Project Starline allows people to meet one-on-one via holographic imagery. Project Starline uses a combination of computer vision, machine learning, spatial audio, and real-time compression to create holograms, Google said in a blog post. Project Starline also relies on custom-built hardware, including a Google-developed light field display system that provides a sense of depth and volume without the need for VR headsets or glasses, Google said.
Google said it has begun conducting demos of Project Starline with select healthcare and media enterprises and is planning trial deployments later this year.
In addition, Google revealed a host of updates to its collaboration suite, Google Workspace. As shared in a separate blog post, these updates include:
  • Google Workspace users can now present content directly from a Google Doc, Sheet, or Slide to a Google Meet call.
  • Starting this fall, users can bring Google Meet directly into other Google Workspace apps, allowing users to meet via video and collaborate in the same Google Doc, Sheet, or Slide.
  • Live translation of Google Meet captions will be coming to the service later this year, starting with translation of English-language live captions into Spanish, followed by Portuguese, French, and German.
  • Users can now create and edit Sheets and Docs directly from Google Chat rooms, and support for Slides will be available in the coming weeks.
  • A new Docs template for meeting notes can automatically import information from a Calendar meeting invite like attached files and smart chips. Smart chips, revealed last fall, display contact details of @mentions and provides context and suggested action like add person to contacts.
These updates are part of the next evolution of its Google Workspace experience revealed at Google I/O, which Google is dubbing smart canvas. As part of this new experience, Google will be rolling out new features across the year, designed to make collaboration inside Google Workspace more flexible and intelligent, Google said.