What you need to know
- Microsoft announced several new features to improve hybrid work environments.
- Microsoft Teams will work with intelligent cameras to track speakers by following audio and facial expressions.
- The new features will start rolling out over the coming months, though some will arrive within weeks.
Microsoft announced a long list of new features for Microsoft Teams that will improve hybrid work meetings. Teams will soon work with a new class of intelligent cameras to track people within a room and split them into separate video feeds. Apple CarPlay will also work with Teams soon, allowing people to participate in meetings while driving. The new features will roll out over the coming months, though some will arrive within weeks.
With support for intelligent cameras, Microsoft Teams can split people from the same room into separate video feeds. This improves the experience for remote workers, as they'll be able to see individual people rather than a single feed of a conference room.
Microsoft is also working on people recognition with its AI facial recognition technology. Once this rolls out, Teams will be able to identify people within a meeting and show information for participants. Names will be grouped together based on which room people are in as well.
Features that utilize intelligent cameras should be available within the coming months. Jabra, Neat, Poly, and Yealink are among the device makers that will support the new capabilities.
Microsoft Teams will also gain support for "companion mode." This allows people to participate in a meeting with their own devices. For example, someone in a conference room could type in the meeting chat with their smartphone. They could also use a shared Whiteboard or cast content from their own device.
Dynamic Room is also being upgraded. Its upcoming improvement prioritizes video from a Teams Room by giving more space within the meeting gallery for Teams Room content.
Speaker coach, which is an AI-powered feature that helps people improve their presenting, and automatic lighting corrections for Teams meetings are also on the way in the coming months.
Microsoft also announced a new Cameo feature that lets people integrate a Teams camera feed into a PowerPoint presentation. People can customize where they appear in a slide to make sure that they don't block any vital content. Support for Cameo will roll out in early 2022.
Apple Car Play support is coming to Microsoft Teams this month. With it, people will be able to join Teams meetings and make calls using Siri. Our sister site iMore covers Microsoft Teams Apple CarPlay support in more depth.
These features may prove useful to Microsoft's own staff, as the company recently delayed reopening its offices.
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