The pandemic caused a huge shift toward remote working, though many people are still eager to return to the office. As such, the future of work may be a hybrid environment. To help account for that, is a bunch of features to bolster hybrid meetings.
Among these is the Cameo feature for presentations in PowerPoint Live. You'll be able to add your Teams camera feed to your deck, and you can choose how and where you want to appear in slides. Microsoft plans to roll out this tool early next year.
Also arriving in early 2022 is an AI-powered feature called speaker coach, which listens to your speech and offers tips on your pace and when to check in with the attendees, as well as offering a reminder when you interrupt someone.
Microsoft will add an automatic lighting correction tool in the coming months. In the same timeframe, it will update companion mode in Teams mobile. The latter will let in-person attendees have easy access to features such as chat and live reactions, as well as controls for the meeting and connected devices, such as cameras.
Speaking of which, Microsoft Teams will soon from the likes of Jabra, Neat, Poly, and Yealink. AI-powered active speaker tracking will use visual cues as well as audio to help determine who is speaking and focus on them. Multiple video streams will place meeting participants who are in the same physical space into their own video pane. The people recognition tool, meanwhile, can identify meeting participants and display their profile name below their video pane.
Manufacturers will have access to those features in the coming months. Microsoft expects the tools to roll out as updates over the next year. They could play a key role in putting all hybrid meeting participants on a level playing field, whether they're at home or in a conference room.
Elsewhere, an Outlook RSVP feature that'll arrive in early 2022 will let you flag whether you're attending a meeting in person or remotely to help organizers prepare (Google Calendar ). You'll be able to mark when and where you're working in your working hours too. You may also be able to reserve shared workspaces through Outlook or Teams.
Meanwhile, Apple CarPlay will get audio-only support for Teams starting later this month. So, if you get stuck in traffic when a meeting starts, you can still join in via Siri.