Tech giants like Google have been attempting to make the videoconferencing world we live in feel a bit more personal with efforts like Project Starline, and now Logitech, a company chiefly known for its computer peripherals, has jumped into the space with Project Ghost. Similarly to Project Starline, Ghost is a comfortable looking booth that allows users to have immersive video calls where the person on the other end’s image is projected, creating an illusion of a more face-to-face meeting.
As reported by Fast Company, VP and General Manager for B2B at Logitech says, “We’ve been trying to solve the problem for a while of how do you make videoconferencing more human.”
To this end, Logitech has teamed up with office furniture maker Steelcase to help design the booth. The booth features a comfortable seat as well as an end table, along with the video display, which is housed in an enclosure. The enclosure is no accidental feature, it hides what helps make Project Ghost’s illusion work. Instead of leaning on emerging technology to create a more immersive experience, Logitech is taking a page out of the past by employing an illusion known as “Pepper’s Ghost.” Utilized for decades by amusement rides and attractions, Pepper’s Ghost uses a pane of glass which bisects the area between the display and a projection element, giving the illusion of a more three-dimensional hologram. Additionally, the camera used Project Ghost is hidden behind the display, allowing the video call to include eye contact for a more lifelike experience.
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“We’re using really old and kind of boring things but put together in a new way to try to solve these problems,” Alex Mooney, manager of alliances and go-to-market at Logitech was quoted as saying to Fast Company.
Logitech is aiming to release Project Ghost by sometime next year, though they plan on listening to feedback on future public demoes of the video booth to see if it needs further refinement. As such, a price point has not been set in stone yet, though the company says they are aiming on making Project Ghost “fairly affordable.”