Microsoft re-imagines virtual collaboration

New features in Microsoft Teams aim to make virtual interactions more organic and engaging for users.
By: | July 13, 2020

To provide greater connectivity, reduce meeting fatigue and encourage more inclusive meetings, a set of new features has been introduced into Microsoft Teams.

For instance, the Together mode deploys AI segmentation technology to digitally place participants in a shared background, providing the illusion that they are physically in the same room with everyone else in the meeting or class. A Together mode with auditorium view will also be available from this August.

Rosalind Quek, General Manager, Modern Work, Asia Solution Sales, Microsoft Asia, said, “Over the last few months, we have worked with experts across virtual reality, AI and productivity research to better understand the future of work. These findings, published here, have been useful in guiding us to design these new features.

“Our research has shown that many of us feel less connected since moving to remote work, hence we want to bring a more human element into online meetings. We also want to streamline their experiences across apps and devices, with technology like AI to save time and improve overall well-being, which is of highest importance during this time.”

Other new features include Dynamic View, which allows users to personalise the view to suit their preferences and needs, including the ability to share content and specific participants side-by-side. Before joining a meeting, users can now use filters to adjust lighting levels and soften the focus of the camera to customise their appearances.

To ensure productivity is maintained through employee well-being, a reflect messaging extension allows managers, leaders and teachers to easily check in on how their teams or students are feeling through questions in an online poll.

Microsoft Teams meeting can now also support 1,000 participants, and up to 20,000 participants to watch a presentation or discussion, while live transcripts and translations will be made available later this year.