Hands of a guy on laptop keyboard
digest bener

April developments

Microsoft Teams has rolled out new updates and features for its users. In Teams meetings where multiple users are present in the same room and using audio, feedback loops can create an annoying echo. To solve this issue, Teams has introduced an update that allows it to detect the presence of another Teams device nearby that is already connected to the meeting with audio. When such a device is detected, Teams notifies other users who are trying to join the meeting, and it automatically mutes their microphones and speakers. However, users can turn these switches back on at any time if they wish. From now on, thanks to a new update, if you are making a PowerPoint presentation in PowerPoint for Windows or PowerPoint for Mac, you can choose to include subtitles with your video. This is a great accessibility feature that can help people who are deaf or hard of hearing better understand your presentation. If you choose to include captions with your video, you can easily share your presentation through PowerPoint Live for Teams, and participants will automatically have the option to include captions for all embedded videos. Closed captions for these videos will appear at the bottom of the slide, making them easy to read and follow.

 Person, Architecture, Building, Hospital, Face, Head, Clinic

If you are participating in a Microsoft Teams meeting thanks to a new option that automatically lowers a raised hand for participants who raise their hand to speak, you will get a reminder notification that the hand will automatically be lowered soon. You will have the option to keep your hand up by clicking the ‘Keep it raised’ button. If you do nothing, Teams will automatically drop your hand. This feature aims to make meetings more efficient for organisers and presenters. This feature is currently only available for Microsoft Teams Desktop users and will be rolling out soon. 

 Text, Electronics, Mobile Phone, Phone
(Source: Microsoft)

The latest feature of Teams, Green screen, enhances the clarity and precision of virtual backgrounds around the face, head, ears, and hair region. Moreover, it facilitates displaying a prop or other object in hand with greater visibility to other meeting attendees. This functionality is compatible with both Windows and macOS operating systems. However, to enjoy this feature, you need to have a solid colour screen or a clean background wall behind you. Additionally, you need to apply a background effect during a Teams meeting to enable the green screen feature and ensure that the right backdrop colour is selected for better picture quality.

 File, Body Part, Finger, Hand, Person, Adult, Female, Woman, Face, Head, Electronics, Screen, Computer Hardware, Hardware, Monitor, Webpage, Marina Pérez

This month, Google Meet has released an update that enhances the Chat feature by providing more information. Now users can view how long someone is in a meeting or focus mode, upcoming appointments in the next 10 minutes, and out-of-office events scheduled for the next business day. This added context to Chat statuses helps colleagues better manage their time and schedules. With these upgrades, Google Meet continues to improve its platform and user experience for businesses and professionals worldwide. Google Meet has announced an upgrade to its video quality, offering 1080p resolution for certain users. Previously, the platform only supported a maximum resolution of 720p and bandwidth-friendly 360p. The addition of full HD is aimed at enhancing the lifelike video conferencing experience, specifically for paying customers.

Starting this month, Zoom has introduced a new feature that is sure to delight interpreted meetings: host-designated interpreters can now unmute themselves even when the host prevents participants from unmuting. In previous versions of Zoom, all participants, with the exception of the host and co-host, were blocked from unmuting if the host prevented unmuting through the in-session security settings. To meet different user needs, Zoom’s new automated and translated subtitle feature offers a colour palette that allows users to customise the colour of the subtitle text. This functionality ensures that users can personalise the captions to their taste and vision needs. Administrators can now create a customised disclaimer to show whiteboard users before they start using it. This feature is used to remind users not to enter sensitive data onto the whiteboard. The disclaimer title can have a maximum of 100 characters, while the body can contain up to 6,000 characters. 

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

ConfTech figure

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.

Stay up to date!

Subscribe to ConfTech Monthly Digest to receive updates and trends on the future of meetings.