Microsoft are reimagining meetings and workspaces to unlock new forms of collaboration, help people and teams stay connected and engaged, and ensure fluid communication across organisations.
Together mode is a new meeting experience in Teams that helps participants feel closer together even when they are apart by placing them in a shared background. This makes meetings more engaging by showing participants’ faces and body language, making it easier to pick up on the non-verbal cues that are so important to human interaction. Microsoft recently announced new Together mode scenes, including auditoriums, conference rooms, and a coffee shop—all available later this year. Presenters will be able to select a scene from the gallery as the default for all meeting attendees. They are also introducing the use of machine learning in Together mode to automatically scale and centre meeting participants in their virtual seats, regardless of how close or far they are from their camera, creating a more realistic visual experience.
Custom layouts will also be coming later this year. This will allow presenters to customise how content shows up for participants during the meeting. For example, when a presenter is showing a PowerPoint slide, participants will be able to see the presenter’s video feed transposed onto the foreground of the slide they’re showing.
Microsoft also announced that Breakout Rooms, one of the most requested Teams features, will be available next month. Meeting organisers will be able to split up participants into smaller groups to facilitate brainstorming sessions or workgroup discussions. Presenters can then hop between breakout rooms, make announcements to all breakout rooms, and close the rooms to return everyone to the main meeting.
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