Microsoft has rolled out Together mode to Teams in an effort to significantly improve video conferencing.
As social distancing and remote work have become standard, video conferencing and communication tools have become critical components for individuals and businesses alike. Whether its corporate teams keeping in touch, churches conducting services or individuals keeping up with family and friends, Teams, Zoom, FaceTime, Skype and others have become lifelines.
At the same time, video fatigue has taken its toll, with widespread reports of video conferencing being exhausting and draining on its users. Microsoft has set out to address that with its new Together mode.
Together mode uses AI segmentation tech to create the illusion that everyone is together in the same place, such as a meeting room, auditorium or coffee shop. This creates a much more familiar and comfortable experience, as opposed to the traditional grid placement.
“We’re social creatures, and the social and spatial awareness systems in the brain can finally function more naturally” within Together mode, says Microsoft’s Jaron Lanier.
The end result is a more engaging experience “by helping you focus on other people’s faces and body language and making it easier to pick up on the non-verbal cues that are so important to human interaction. It’s great for meetings in which multiple people will speak, such as brainstorms or roundtable discussions, because it makes it easier for participants to understand who is talking.”
With no immediate end in sight to the pandemic, improvements like this will go a long way toward helping people stay productive and connected.