Microsoft Ignite 2022: Microsoft Teams Announcements Part 1
If you thought Microsoft Teams has been an amazing app for team collaboration, then hang onto your seat because the announcements at Ignite 2022 for Microsoft Teams will blow your socks off! There are many new and exciting features coming with upgrades to many current ones that were announced for Meetings, Microsoft Teams Premium, Rooms and Devices, Microsoft Places, Chat and Collaboration, Phone and Contact Centre, Collaborative Apps, and Frontline Workers.
One of the most exciting new features for Microsoft Teams are mesh avatars. What are they? To enhance connection in our hybrid work environment, supporting collaboration in a virtual world, and making it feel like it is in person, mesh avatars provide users a metaverse experience with the ability to attend Microsoft Teams meetings without turning on the camera. Sound exciting? It definitely is! And, we will go into more detail in our article Microsoft Teams Mesh Avatars.
Mesh avatars are only one of the many features focused on the Meetings aspect of Microsoft Teams. Other enhancements and new features for Microsoft Teams meetings include:
Excel Live: in a shared meeting window and in the meeting itself, attendees will be able to edit and interact with an Excel file without leaving the meeting screen or opening a separate file, and Excel does not even have to be running on your device. How cool is that?
Collaborative Annotations in Teams Meetings: attendees will be able to type, draw and react directly to shared content during a Teams meeting by leveraging Whiteboard with its canvas and rich toolset.
Cameo in PPT Live: a new PowerPoint Live experience that integrates your Microsoft Teams camera feed into your presentation. It is customizable and with PowerPoint Cameo, you can choose where and how you want to appear on your PowerPoint slides. Design recommendations are offered to maximize optimal viewing conditions.
Together Mode Innovations: Assign Seats and Select Together Mode for Everyone: with Together mode, attendees in virtual Microsoft Teams meetings can feel more like they are meeting in the same room. Attendees can be assigned seats by meeting organizers and presenters, and in these seats, organizers and presenters can meet the attendees in the Together mode view, and by selecting the Together mode for everyone, every attendee and participant in the Teams meeting will have the same view.
Microsoft Polls Innovations: engage your attendees so they become active participants in the meeting with Microsoft Polls. Keep the meeting momentum going from voting on decisions to ranking suggestions to voting on their favourite breakfast item.
Meeting Guides: preset meeting options provide the organizer with the ability to easily set up meetings based on discussion topics and the audience.
Custom Meeting Branding, Organizational Backgrounds at the Org level, Custom Together Mode Scenes: infuse and embody corporate branding in online meetings.
Advanced Meeting Protection, Including Watermarking, E2E Encryptions, and Sensitivity Labels: sensitive content and discussions are safeguarded with E2E encryption, watermarking, sensitivity labels, and providing controls on who can record to protect information.
Intelligent Recap: reduce meeting fatigue with the provision of personalized highlights that will help the user discover the most relevant and important information from meetings, including AI-generated tasks, auto-generated chapters, personalized timeline markers, and intelligent transcript search.
Live Translation for Captions: break down language barriers and create an all-inclusive meeting environment with live translation and captioning of 40 spoken languages for attendees so they can participate and interact live during their meetings.
Advanced Virtual Appointments: personalize the customer experience and drive operational excellence while conducting business-to-customer (B2C) engagements with the simplified queue view, virtual appointment app, custom waiting room, SMS reminders, mobile browser join, and analytics at the department-organizational level.
Advanced Webinars: engage and deepen the connection with internal and external audiences during webinars with hosting capabilities including registration waitlist, manual approvals, automated email reminders, virtual green room, and managing what attendees can see.
To enhance the feeling of togetherness and provide lifelike engagement for remote participants, Microsoft Teams announced new devices and features related to Room and Devices. These include:
Center-of-the-Room Intelligent Camera Form Factor: by being placed in the centre of the room, this 360˚ panoramic camera delivers multiple streams of videos. Each person in the room will appear in their video frame making it easy for each attendee to see each person. Remote attendees will be able to identify the speaker in the room with AI active speaker tracking and with face recognition, it will make it even easier to identify who is speaking.
Cisco: releasing their first wave of devices for Microsoft Teams in 2023 as they become a Microsoft Teams Rooms Certified Devices partner.
Signature Microsoft Teams Rooms: facing the display, in-room participants will see remote attendees across the table, at eye level, and appearing life-size. Background noise is suppressed with AI noise suppression while spatial audio will deliver clear and natural voices from remote attendees.
IntelliFrame: whether in-room or remote, all attendees will have their own enhanced frame in the video gallery.
Teams Displays: large 24” displays will have dual purposes of being used as standalone devices for Teams collaboration or they can be connected to the PC and used as a second monitor.
Microsoft Presenter+: with a push of a button, this accessory empowers users to control meetings, present, and participate in meetings including focusing audience attention on key content, advancing slides, muting/unmuting voices, and raising their hands.
Teams Video Enhancements: Video On/Off on Temas Peripherals, 2nd Video Stream with Content Camera from Logitech: physical content from your Teams meeting and calls can be seamlessly shared with all participants by tilting the camera. Ideal for virtual classrooms and hybrid work environments.
Native Bluetooth for Microsoft Teams on the Surface Headphones 2+: skip the dongle with these Bluetooth headphones and effortlessly connect to collaborate during Teams meetings with a push of a button.
With the majority of corporations implementing a hybrid work environment, the use of space within a building and how it is used requires effective, productive, and intuitive planning. With Microsoft Places, coordinating who is in-room or remote, or both become more easily organized. Microsoft Places provides the technology and tools to maximize time, whether it is meeting colleagues in person by knowing when they will be on-site, booking a common space to work, or improving conference room usage. With Microsoft Places, maximizing space utilization, occupancy, and fluidity is simplified and provides managers with insights to help optimize the usage of these spaces.
So far, in this article, we have seen the many new features and upgrades to features in Microsoft Teams that surround how and where Teams members interact, whether remotely or in person. From Meetings, Rooms and Devices, and Microsoft Places, along with the new Microsoft Teams Premium, we proceed to Chat and Collaboration, Phone and Contact Centre, Collaborative Apps, and Frontline Workers in our next installment, Microsoft Teams Announcements Part 2.