Microsoft Teams Brings New Features to Improve the Video Calling Experience

by Kelvin
Microsoft teams novidades

This Wednesday (8), Microsoft announced several new features for the Microsoft Teams, which were developed with the aim of facilitating people’s interaction and engagement at this time of the new coronavirus pandemic, where people are forced to spend more and more time in videoconferences to keep in touch with co-workers, friends and family.

One of the new features is the introduction of “Together Mode”, a new way to organize the screen space of a videoconference. Instead of separating all participants into dozens of tiny frames occupying the entire screen, the program uses artificial intelligence segmentation technology to make people participating in a videoconference can occupy a single shared environment, bringing a little closer to videoconferencing experience of a face-to-face meeting.

By grouping all users closer together, it is easier to pay attention not only to what is being said, but also to their body language, making it easier for there to be real engagement in the subject under discussion. It is also possible to define which background environment will be shared by users, allowing you to hold a work meeting in a background that simulates an office or chat with friends in an environment that looks like a coffee shop. This function is already in the testing phase, and should be generally available in mid-August.

  

And for those who want to keep the conversations organized in the more traditional way, Microsoft Teams will also introduce the function “Dynamic View”, which will give users greater control over how participants in a conference are viewed. With this mode, the application will use AI techniques to define the best way to organize the participants in a meeting, in addition to facilitating the manual organization of screens by the user and the sharing of content by the camera.

Microsoft teams dynamic view

According to Microsoft, Dynamic View is an evolution of improvements that had already been announced a few months ago by the company, and will also feature the possibility of making video calls with up to 49 people simultaneously and the possibility of dividing the conference participants in smaller groups to discuss matters that are of interest to only a portion of those participants.

Other innovations revealed by the company were the introduction of filters for calls (which use AI software to improve the lighting of the place where the user is or blur the background for those who do not have a setting for online meetings) and an increase in the number maximum participants of interactive presentations (for example, an online class, in which people have the freedom to discuss via text in chat and, at certain times, turn on the audio and even the camera of their devices to ask questions) in up to 1000 people, and closed presentations (when participants cannot interact in any way) up to 20 thousand people.

Microsoft teams filters

Among the novelties aimed at making videoconferences more spontaneous conversations are the possibility of “Live Reactions”, where a user can interact by sending an emoji that will appear to everyone who is connected, and will serve so that the person who is speaking can have an idea of ​​whether everyone is able to follow or not without being interrupted.

Microsoft teams live reactions

A change in the text chat scheme was also announced, where instead of the user needing to enter a specific chat window (which takes their attention away from the person speaking), all messages sent through the chat appear as notifications on the screen of each of the participants, allowing for greater engagement on the part of everyone in the issues being discussed on the topic under discussion.

And, to make conversations even easier on the Microsoft Teams, the program will use your AI to analyze submitted questions and suggest answers that can be sent with just a tap. For example, if someone calls on Teams to ask if you can join a meeting, the app will already suggest responses like “Yes I can!” for you to send with just one click.

The company also announced a new Tasks app, which will allow you to centralize all schedules and scheduled tasks between different Microsoft programs (such as Outlook, Planner and Microsoft To Do) within Teams itself, allowing quick access to different lists of tasks regardless of whether you are on your computer or browsing your mobile.

In addition to improving engagement, Microsoft is also concerned with making the meetings that take place through Microsoft Teams more inclusive, allowing more people to get the most out of them.

One of the novelties in this regard is an update for the program’s real-time subtitles function, which will not only subtitle in real time what is being said, but also indicate who is the interlocutor of that sentence, making it easier for people with problems with listening orient themselves on who is speaking what in a meeting with many active participants.

Microsoft teams transcription

Another novelty is a tool for real-time transcription, which will provide another way to follow what is being said in the conversation via text. Instead of placing the captions on the user’s own screen, the application creates a window where it is possible to follow the complete transcript of the meeting, with the identification of which user said each sentence. And at the end of the call, her full transcript will be available to be sent to anyone.

Microsoft teams transcription

Microsoft also promises some changes to the whiteboard, Teams’ visual collaboration tool. In this tool will be added functions to insert text, add virtual “post it” and the ability to drag and insert files, thus allowing even people who are not using a Surface Hub or any other device with a touchscreen can participate in the creation sessions with the tool.

speaking of the Surface Hub, Microsoft also announced that these devices can connect to calls and send files to equipment in a meeting room, also adding some controls that do not yet exist in this type of connection, such as the possibility to turn off the microphone of the device of those present in the room. , adjust the audio volume or turn the camera on and off.

Also announced for the Teams was the extension “Reflect Messaging”, which will allow those responsible for a group (whether managers in a work group, or teachers in a study group) to send all their subordinates a questionnaire about the relationship between personal life and work, so that they can better understand how everyone of your team are feeling and helping to deal with the stress and fatigue caused by a relationship that is only kept at bay.

Microsoft teams messaging extension

Another new feature will be the integration of Microsoft Teams with the virtual assistant Cortana, which will allow users to make a call, join a conference, send messages via chat, send files and perform various other actions within the application just by voice commands.

As with all other news presented by Microsoft, the integration with Cortana with the Teams should happen within the next few months, but at first it will be for users Microsoft 365 Enterprise that use the Teams mobile app (for both Android and iOS) and will only recognize English commands.

Screens for Microsoft Teams

Microsoft teams displays

In addition to improving the program itself, the Microsoft it’s also thinking about other ways to improve the user experience during meetings. Therefore, the company has teamed up with hardware partners, and they release new devices specially designed to facilitate calls through Microsoft Teams.

The screens for Microsoft Teams they are touch-screen devices with a built-in camera, microphone and speaker to make it easy to participate in video calls wherever the user is. These devices can also be easily integrated with the computer (allowing easy access to files and appointments, among others) and some models will also support Cortana, allowing use only by voice commands.

The first of these devices to reach the market will be the ThinkSmart View from Lenovo, which is now available on the company’s online store at a price of $349.99. This model does not yet have support for Microsoft’s virtual assistant, and the first models with Cortana should be released within the next few months.

Source: Microsoft