This is what meetings will look like in the future, according to Microsoft
Larger screens and spatial audio. Yes, that’s “it”.
Sometimes Microsoft takes time off from killing browsers to tell the world about a future it has envisioned. A few years ago, at Build, as XDA Developers reminds us, Microsoft talked about the future of meetings where intelligent speakers could tell exactly who was speaking and make transcriptions accordingly. That's become reality now and Microsoft is back with another prediction for the future.
Over the last year how people work has evolved drastically and more and more workplaces have had to adapt to a hybrid work environment. Video conferencing solutions like Zoom, Webex, Microsoft Teams, and platforms like Slack have helped bridge the gap between office work and working from home. People have learned to collaborate more effectively despite not being in the same physical space. Once offices start reopening, this hybrid work environment is going to stay since not everyone, globally, will be coming back to the workplace at the same time. This means while a bunch of people will be at work, another bunch will still be working from home.
One of the things Microsoft envisions for the future is bigger screens for meetings. Add to this the power of spatial audio. What you get are life-size images and you can also tell who's speaking based on where the sound is coming from. Microsoft also has solutions for these larger rooms. They are looking at hiding microphones in the ceiling and a wide set up of tables and chairs. There is no wide-screen camera though, the camera will intelligently focus on who is speaking instead.
While this future that Microsoft sees for meetings will require a lot of hardware, it does not seem impossible. For companies that need to invest in a hybrid work environment, this is something they might want to shell out for, given they already have a big meeting room. And all of this is going to happen through Teams Rooms. For now, this just a concept, but you can safely assume that Microsoft is working on this. This year's Build is scheduled in a few days and we might learn more soon.