Microsoft shows off its vision of future meetings
Every once in a while, Microsoft takes some time to tell the world what it thinks the future will look like. For example, a few years ago at Build, it showed off the future of meetings where intelligent speakers could tell who was speaking and make useful transcriptions. Those intelligent speakers exist today.
The firm is back with its next prediction of future meetings. The way that people work has evolved in the last year. More people are working from home, and that means that more workplaces will have to adapt to a hybrid work environment. Indeed, solutions like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Slack, and many more are all about bridging that gap. They’re about allowing people to work together and collaborate even if they’re not in the same place. But with people going back to offices, there will be more larger groups of people in the same place, while collaborating with people working remotely.
One thing it showed was a bigger screen. The people are meant to be life-size, and there’s spatial audio, so you can actually tell who’s speaking based on where the sound is coming from.
Microsoft also has solutions for larger rooms. It wants to hide microphones in the ceiling, promising that technology can just fade into the background. With a wide setup of tables and chairs, there isn’t a widescreen camera. Instead, the camera intelligently focuses on who is speaking.
Indeed, it does seem like Microsoft’s vision of future meetings requires a lot of hardware. That’s actually fine though. If you work in the type of company that has that big meeting room, then you can easily take stock of how much they spend on meeting room hardware. It’s not cheap, and if the company is going to focus on a hybrid work environment, this is bound to happen.
All of this happens through Teams Rooms, Microsoft’s solution for meeting rooms like these. While this seems like mostly a concept, you can bet that Microsoft is working on stuff like this. Indeed, the company is frequently adding features to Teams.
It’s sort of interesting that the Redmond firm didn’t announce this at Build, which is taking place in just a few days. This is something that it would typically show off during the keynote.