Logitech Made Google’s Project Starline Video Conferencing Booth — Minus Holograms

The technology itself is dead simple.

Story by Cherlynn Low, engadget

For better or worse, video calls have become an integral part of our lives. Whether you’re chatting with a loved one who’s oceans away, or collaborating with teammates across timezones, sitting in front of a webcam or holding up your phone is an inescapable reality. That’s why many companies have developed products meant to make video calls feel more natural — like NVIDIA’s Broadcast tool to make it look like you’re maintaining eye contact even if you aren’t and Google’s experimental 3D telepresence or holographic booths. But Logitech is introducing something that uses dead simple technology to make video chats more like the real-world experience. The company announced Project Ghost in January, and recently invited us to check out a functioning version in New York.

The premise is straightforward. Instead of futzing around with holograms or algorithms that make your pupils look like you’re staring at a camera, Logitech simply embedded its existing Rally Plus video conferencing system into a booth it teamed up with furniture maker Steelcase to create. The result is a booth that’s like a larger business class seat (but not quite first class), with walls about 5 feet 10 inches tall. Light brown wooden slats line the exterior, matching the panels inside. On one side sits a hollow wall that’s almost two feet thick, with a screen inside it and a mirror below that, placed at a perpendicular angle. Facing the TV is a light pink couch, a side table with a touchscreen control panel on it and some green plants behind that.

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