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February-March developments

Microsoft Teams made another move this month to improve the availability of its service. Thanks to the new Microsoft update, PowerPoint users will be able to add closed captions files to PowerPoint videos added straight from within PowerPoint for both macOS and Windows with the new functionality. According to Microsoft, this makes the slideshows understandable to those with hearing impairments or when users are in loud environments. 

online conference between four people

As part of a new premium product, Microsoft is bringing the technology behind OpenAI’s highly popular chatbot ChatGPT into Teams. When someone opens a meeting, the chatbot will start working. But it can also be used to help build a template that meets the needs of the meeting organiser. Even if you did not attend the meeting, it will automatically include an intelligent summary that produces notes and customised highlights. ChatGPT will also create chapters in the meeting video to divide it into parts, as well as names and explanations to assist attendees in finding the parts they require.

Microsoft Teams meeting with chatGPT
(Source: Microsoft)

According to Google Meet, the new version allows you to eliminate background noises, allowing users to fully concentrate without distraction. It will also be easier for participants to follow the meeting and hear better with the help of this feature. With this new tool, Google Meet can now potentially improve their meetings. While you are delivering your Google Slides during the conference, viewers can now view the speaker notes within Google Meet. To show your speaker notes during the meeting, easily select the new speaker notes icon in the Slides controls bar in Meet.

Cisco Webex has improved the appearance of participant videos starting this month as it now contains the ability to instantly change the quality of user videos. With this setting enabled, meeting participants’ video resolution is increased to better encompass the real resolution of the window being used. By selecting the option to allow, this feature can be enabled in Meeting Settings on the Layout page. Adjust the participant video resolution dynamically to the real video dimensions. Another useful feature is the ability to enable or disable the floating window when sharing.

When sharing, users and admins can now hide the floating video preview window. Although many users find it useful to see the responses of other participants while sharing, some do not want to see them, so this option allows you to see the participants in a floating window.

Zoom’s Workspace Designer

Looking at previous experience, room setup plays one of the most important roles for the successful tech behind the online meeting. Knowing this fact, Zoom has dedicated a specific portal on which users can try different room setups and find the best appropriate equipment needed. Zoom created the Workspace Designer as an online stop, for exploring some of the most common office and home setups, but users can also create a custom room and get suggestions for the most suitable equipment for that particular setup. This portal might be of great help to people who are moving to new offices or getting back from work-from-home environments to continue with successful meetings.

Hybrid work going outside the office

The car manufacturer giant Mercedes-Benz, announced the collaboration with Cisco’s WebEx, at the 2023 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Online meetings are indeed going toward every part of our future lives and the automotive industry is no different. When describing the new features, both Mercedes and Webex executives called for the future mobile office a place for ‘hybrid work’. The WebEx multimedia dashboard has been announced for the E class of the Mercedes line.

Cisco Webex meeting in the car
(Source: Cisco Webex)

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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