Technology

Video meetings turned into virtual auditorium with new Microsoft Teams feature

The tech giant is introducing a number of new features as competition among video communication platforms ramps up.

Microsoft is adding a virtual auditorium view to its Teams communication platform in a bid to make video meetings feel more natural during lockdown.

The firm has developed AI technology that places participants alongside one another, digitally seated with the same background, creating the impression everyone is in the same room.

Together mode is designed to help people feel more connected and less fatigued by video meetings, which have become commonplace among those working from home since coronavirus lockdown measures came into place in March.

The feature – which rolls out on Thursday before becoming generally available in August – is one of a number of improvements the tech giant is introducing on Microsoft Teams.

Users can expect to find video filter enhancements and emoji-based live reactions to pop up on screen among the raft of updates.

Microsoft Teams displays, a new category of device for the firm, has also been announced amid a surge in demand for video communication tools and growing competition from the likes of Zoom, Facebook and Google.

These Teams-focused devices will have an ambient touchscreen and a hands-free experience powered by Cortana.

The Lenovo ThinkSmart View will be the first Microsoft Teams display to be made available.

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Technology