Microsoft has announced new exciting features in its video conferencing app Teams including a Together Mode that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to digitally place participants in a shared background, as if they are sitting in the same room with everyone else in the meeting or class.
The Together Mode makes meetings more engaging by helping people focus on others' faces and body language and making it easier to pick up on the non-verbal cues that are so important to human interaction.
"It's great for meetings in which multiple people will speak, such as brainstorms or roundtable discussions, because it makes it easier for participants to understand who is talking," Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365, said in a statement late Wednesday.
Together mode with auditorium view is now rolling out and will be generally available in August.
Another set of new enhancements called Dynamic View would give users more control over how they see shared content and other participants in a meeting.
Using AI, meetings dynamically optimize shared content and video participants.
Dynamic view builds on the meetings enhancements Microsoft announced last month, which include large gallery view (rolling out in August), where you can see video of up to 49 people in a meeting simultaneously, and virtual breakout rooms, which allow meeting organizers to split meeting participants into smaller groups.
Microsoft also announced to bring Video filters to Teams.
Before joining a meeting, people can use the filters to subtly adjust lighting levels and soften the focus of the camera to customize your appearance.
Soon, you will also be able to react during a meeting using emojis that will appear to all participants.
Microsoft is also bringing PowerPoint Live Presentations to Teams in the future, further enabling audience engagement right from Teams.
Currently, Teams users need to manually open a chat window to view the chat screen. Soon, chats sent during a Teams meeting will surface on the screens of all meeting participants, making the chat more central to the conversation.
The company said that Teams meetings are growing to support up to 1,000 participants.
"When you want to bring more people together to watch a presentation or discussion, Teams can support a view-only meeting experience for up to 20,000 participants," said the company.
The digital assistant Cortan is also coming to the Teams mobile app soon. The users can ask Cortana to make a call, join a meeting, send chat messages, share files, and more.
Cortana will be available in the Teams mobile app on iOS and Android in the coming weeks for Microsoft 365 Enterprise users in the US. in English.
Touchless meeting experiences in shared spaces are more relevant than ever nowadays. Teams enables people to join meetings and share content to meeting room devices from their own mobile device or PC.
"Later this year, we'll enable these capabilities on Surface Hub as well," said Microsoft.
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