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December-January developments

Microsoft Teams has unveiled some interesting features and improvements in recent updates. One significant addition is the Teams add-in for Outlook. This feature lets users conveniently schedule webinars, town halls, and virtual appointments directly from their Outlook calendar. These events will be displayed on Outlook and Teams calendars, ensuring better organisation.

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Another noteworthy update is the introduction of People Recognition using an intelligent camera. It is now possible for users to create a face profile by enrolling their face on the Teams desktop client, enabling intelligent camera technology to accurately identify individuals in the room and display their names to all meeting participants, whether physically present or joining remotely. There has been a revamp in the accessibility of audio and video settings during meetings. Video and audio controls have been relocated to the Microphone and Video buttons for easier access. Users can click the drop-down arrow next to the microphone icon to access the microphone settings in the drop-down menu.

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(Source: Microsoft)

Teams users can create personalized backgrounds for channel announcements. It is possible to generate expressive images using Microsoft Designer.

Google Meet has introduced a new feature that significantly reduces viewing latency for video meetings broadcast within an organisation. With this latest update, meeting hosts can start or add live streaming to any ongoing Meet call, even if it was not originally scheduled to be broadcast live. Viewers can now see the number of people watching a live stream in the top left corner of the live stream indicator. Meeting participants can join a live stream from the join screen if they prefer that viewing experience over a regular call. The video feed will start even faster when joining live streams with large audiences. Viewing live streams from the Google Meet mobile app on Android and iOS devices is now possible.

(Source: Google Meet)

In the latest update, Zoom has introduced an ‘edit ticket link’ feature that allows participants to join a group and track registrations after an event. If the event lobby is closed and a user tries to join via the link, their registration and ticket count will not be added to the event. Instead, they will receive a message stating that the event has ended and the lobby is closed. Notifications for meeting recordings, live streams, saveable captions, and AI Companion features are now combined into smaller, less obtrusive notifications at the top of the meeting window. These condensed banners provide information about the shared data and with whom it is being shared.

Are you planning an online meeting or event and need urgent advice?

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Our ConfTech Help desk provides countries and organisations with immediate advice on how to organise and run online meetings and events. Get in touch with us at conftech@diplomacy.edu.

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