Microsoft outlined its vision for virtual meetings in the near future. Apart from Microsoft Teams, the Windows 10 OS maker wants special hardware to ensure teleconferences feel natural, inclusive, and lifelike.
Microsoft has released a new video that details the company’s plans for virtual meetings which have become the new normal. The company’s vision includes larger screens that help facilitate face-to-face meetings with life-sized remote colleagues, special cameras and microphones placed strategically in a conventional conference room.
Hybrid work model with virtual meetings is the future, claims Microsoft as it plans for new conference tools:
Companies across the world are gradually returning back to normal office work. However, owing to restrictions on travel, several organizations have adopted a “hybrid” work model. Speaking about the same, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, said in a LinkedIn post:
“Creating equitable, inclusive experiences starts with designing for people not in the room. Hybrid work represents the biggest shift to how we work in our generation.”
The new hybrid work model basically involves a mix of remote access with in-person work. Microsoft wants such scenarios to feel natural, inclusive, and lifelike.
You will soon be able to join Zoom and WebEx meetings from your Microsoft Teams Rooms on Android device https://t.co/zf9LxTMqQG
— DIE WIENBURG. (@die_wienburg) May 22, 2021
Microsoft Teams is obviously at the core of the remote working and collaboration work model. Moreover, to ensure participants feel natural, Microsoft imagines meeting rooms with special cameras at eye level to improve eye contact.
The company also envisioned spatial audio that will help you hear colleagues’ voices. Needless to mention, spatial audio could make it feel like the participating remote colleagues are present alongside participants who are physically present in the conference room.
Microsoft envisions the ‘Meeting Room of the future’ but it requires a lot more hardware than just a screen, computer, camera, and microphone:
To ensure virtual and physical participants in the meeting appear similar, Microsoft has envisioned a lot of hardware. Customers would need new intelligent video cameras that can detect who’s talking and bring them into view.
Perhaps the biggest challenge in any virtual meeting is audio management. Microsoft’s vision involves embedding microphones in the ceiling. Incidentally, the company recently started selling Intelligent Speakers for Teams.
— The Verge (@verge) May 21, 2021
The hardware would invariably be quite expensive. This is because the cameras will have to quickly realign themselves to focus on the person speaking.
— @EntrepreneurInd (@EntrepreneurIND) May 22, 2021
Moreover, the microphones will have to isolate speech and deliver the same accordingly. There would also have to be special speakers that deliver lifelike and realistic audio quality.
Incidentally, Microsoft is betting heavily on Windows 10, Microsoft Teams, and the Azure cloud infrastructure to facilitate virtual meetings. With comprehensive hardware and software, Microsoft could offer a secure environment to conduct meetings.