Microsoft have released a new update to their videoconferencing app – Teams. The update made a move to make videoconferencing less tiring with the use of “Together mode”.
Together mode was made to change the way users experience Microsoft Teams. Instead of the conventional image in square boxes, participants in the meeting would be arranged such that it looks like they are sitting in a hall.
Microsoft have programmed an AI into the Teams app. The AI will crop each participants image out of their background, and arrange them on a hall-like platform.
Teams’ Together mode is designed to use only the image of the participants, therefore, if there is a need to show the content of the participant’s surrounding, or show a physical white board, then, it would not be a good idea to use the Together mode.
Users are also presented with the option of choosing the Coffee Shop view. This view shows participants sitting in a coffee shop-like arrangements.
Together mode make meetings more engaging, and this reduces distraction and the risk of getting fatigued when the meeting is getting long. However, it is not suitable for meetings that requires lots of movements, and definitely should not be used while driving.
The initial release of Together mode has been designed to support up to 49 participants and still function optimally. For meetings with more than 49 participants, it is not such a good idea. This is due to the instability that could ensue in such use.
Microsoft has said it is working to add more innovative features to Teams, and all their apps so that communication during Covid-19 period will keep getting smoother.
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, many people have been working from home. Working from home and observation of social distancing have necessitated innovations in the video conferencing and telepresence corner of technology. Several tech companies have come up with different ways to solve the issue created by the Coronavirus outbreak.
Other videoconferencing apps Microsoft Teams have to compete with are Google Meet, Messenger Room, Cisco WebEx, and Zoom.