Take a look at what Microsoft thinks the future of hybrid meetings will look like

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Take a look at what Microsoft thinks the future of hybrid meetings will look like
Microsoft/YouTube
  • Microsoft Teams released a preview of a new, Teams-enabled conference room Friday.
  • The setup is optimized for collaboration between remote and in-office participants.
  • Microsoft has been working to refine virtual meetings since Teams usership spiked as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Microsoft released a video on Friday showing what the tech giant thinks the future of its Teams meetings will look like in a hybrid office setting.

The new Microsoft Teams meeting rooms displayed in the video are designed, the company says "to connect in-person and remote attendees in a more unified experience."

Take a look at what Microsoft thinks the future of hybrid meetings will look like
Microsoft/YouTube

In-person attendees can make eye contact with their virtual teammates through a camera mounted at eye level in the table, and a microphone in the ceiling can pick up sound throughout the room.

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The new Teams capability also features spatial audio so users can hear virtual participants where they would be in the meeting room. As The Verge put it, "this meeting room of the future looks like it'll require a lot of hardware."

The setup may seem futuristic, but Microsoft sees it as an evolution of the existing Teams capabilities. And Teams Rooms are generally available, according to a statement from a Microsoft spokesperson.

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Microsoft has been working to refine virtual meetings since Teams usership spiked as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company launched an augmented reality platform named Microsoft Mesh, which allows developers to code AI for virtual meetings, and Insider reported that it hopes to brings some Mesh capabilities to Teams down the line.

Microsoft, like many big companies, transititoned to mandatory remote work in March of 2020 as the coronavirus hit the US. A year later, the company said many of its 150,000 employees want the flexibility to work both in person and remotely. "Though we don't know how far off a new normal is, we are adapting to a new way of working with an expanded understanding of flexibility," Kurt DelBene, Executive Vice President, wrote in a blog post.

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