Microsoft’s Vision for the Meeting Room of the Future

Micrsoft meeting room

Microsoft has just given us a glimpse into its vision for the future of meeting rooms at the 2018 Build developer conference and it looks pretty amazing! We all know that conference calls and video calls can be tricky things to nail in terms of a quality experience, without the right set-up – but the guru’s at Microsoft are working on some new high-tech hardware that will help make things a lot easier. At the conference, they gave a demo that was very impressive and showed what’s just around the corner…. Computer hardware and AI combined – to create the all-in-one meeting assistant that tracks everything each person says.

New Meeting Room Technology

This new piece of kit, that was placed in a “regular” meeting room, contains a 360-degree camera and a series of mics that can detect each person and capture what they say by transcribing it, regardless of the language being used. Microsoft have invested heavily in translation software features for Skype and it’s proposed meeting room includes this technology through the AI which transcribes the conversation as it unfolds. Pretty cool right?

The AI takes things one step further…… If one of the meeting participants said something like “I’ll get back to you next week with an answer” the AI would create a notification in Microsoft Team. The meeting notifications or ‘insights’ can then be made available to the appropriate people for review.

The cameras can actually recognise the people and the AI will also be able to learn the different speech patterns of each person over time so that more accurate transcriptions can be produced. Not only that – but the software will be able to identify and isolate different voices even if they are talking over one and other or are in a room with a lot of background noise.

Check out the presentation……

Inclusive Technology

The meeting room of the future has the possibility of being more inclusive for team members who might not be present in the room. The real time transcription of the conversation can help these individuals stay on top of the conversation, even if there’s poor sound quality due to background noise.

Another excellent possibility is that new tech like this can be used as an accessibility tool. During the demo one of the team members was an engineer who is deaf. She commented that the meeting room of the future enables her to keep track of what is going on during the meeting far better and makes it far easier for her to participate with her colleagues and add value to the meeting.

A Little Scary???

This type of new tech is certainly amazing, but it would definitely make you think twice about what you say in a meeting! AI that can capture every little joke, crazy suggestion or side conversation is a slightly scary thought!!

Either way we can expect to see these types of devices becoming the norm over the next few years as companies invest in the latest meeting room technologies.

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