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Over the past few months, many organizations have vaulted into an entirely new world of work. We’ve discovered some of the benefits of this new world through more than 30 research projects here at Microsoft, and by learning from our customers and partners. These benefits range from, increased fluidity between work and life activities, allowing people to move between the two more easily, to increased empathy between teammates, and several other benefits detailed in our latest Work Trend Index Report. We’ve also seen the emergence of new challenges. That same blend of work and life can be difficult to balance, home offices without distractions are rare, remote collaboration can feel more difficult than in-person, and access to reliable networks and equipment isn’t available for everyone. While distributed remote work has its rewards, there are certain advantages to in-office collaboration as well. Through these learnings it has become clear – the workplace of the future will not be one location or the other, but a fluid experience across the two.


To help our customers navigate this new, hybrid working environment, today we’d like to share some new and reimagined capabilities in Teams-enabled meeting rooms that offer touchless experiences, support inclusive collaboration between remote and in-person attendees, and help remind teams to practice social distancing in meeting rooms.

 

Touchless experiences on Microsoft Teams devices for shared spaces
Today, people in the meeting room can join a Teams meeting from their Microsoft Teams Room and collaboration bar devices, share content and collaborate using their personal PC or mobile device, all without ever having to touch the shared device display. Later this year, we’ll enable these capabilities on Surface Hub as well. Additionally, Surface Pro X users can use their pen across Surface devices, including Surface Hub 2S, further limiting the contact with the shared device display in a meeting room. As the need for additional touchless experiences grows, we’re expanding these features to allow people to control more aspects of the meeting. In the future, people will be able to choose how they want to interact with their shared space devices, using touch, controls on their own personal devices, and through voice commands.


Soon, in-room participants will be able to control their Teams Room and collaboration bar devices from the Teams mobile app. From the new room remote experience, users will be able to mute and unmute the room, adjust audio volume, turn cameras on and off, and exit the meeting. We’ll also enable wireless casting to any Teams Room, collaboration bar, and Surface Hub for quick ad-hoc connections that don’t require remote participation. Beginning later this year, voice assistance will be enabled for Microsoft Teams Room devices, allowing in-room participants to ask Cortana to join and leave a meeting, and add a phone number or participant from the address book to a meeting.*


When the meeting is over, people can simply leave the room, allowing the Teams Room or collaboration bar to automatically exit the meeting. This feature allows room administrators to designate a period of zero-activity after a meeting is scheduled to end, after which, meeting devices are automatically ejected from the meeting.

Proximity join

 

Room remote

 

Wireless casting

 

Cortana voice assistance on Microsoft Teams Room

 

 

Coordinated meetings with Teams Room and Surface Hub
Teams Room is the premier solution for delivering Teams meeting room experiences with a focus on high fidelity audio, HD video, and seamless content sharing capabilities. Surface Hub delivers unmatched co-creation experiences in meetings, featuring premium pen and inking capabilities, with access to must-have Microsoft apps and Office 365 files. Soon, users will be able to leverage the power of both devices, in the same meeting, through a coordinated experience. Using proximity or one-touch join, both devices join the meeting simultaneously with Teams Rooms running audio and video, while Surface Hub is automatically muted to avoid any distracting feedback. During the meeting, users can maximize screen real estate by using the front of room display to show attendees in the meeting gallery, while the Surface Hub is used to show content or to conduct a collaborative whiteboarding session. With the whiteboard experience on Surface Hub and Microsoft Whiteboard in Teams, people can draw and ink together on the same savable canvas, no matter their location. With this new coordinated device capability, people can drive inclusive, collaborative meeting experiences between remote and in-person attendees like never before.

Coordinated meetings with Surface Hub and Microsoft Teams Room

 

 

Meeting room capacity notifications
As organizations plan their transitions back to the office, many are looking to implement new in-office policies to adhere to local safety guidelines. Some of these recommendations include social distancing practices in shared spaces like meeting rooms. To aid our customers in these efforts we’ll soon enable a way for room administrators to automatically notify in-room meeting participants if a room is over capacity. Today, administrators can define meeting room capacity for the room account. Soon, we’ll enable IT to use the data from meeting room cameras with people-counting technologies to identify how many people are in a room, and alert in-room meeting participants if it is over-capacity based on the capacity data defined in the room account. The notification will be displayed as a banner that appears across the top of the screen at the front of the room. In the future, administrators will receive an alert in the Teams Admin Center, allowing them to track room usage to help inform space planning decisions.

Meeting room capacity notifications

 

 

Helping people connect across workspaces has never been more important. With Teams meetings and Teams-enabled devices, people can engage in collaborative and inclusive meetings from anywhere.


View our collection of Teams certified devices at the Devices Showcase. From now until 7/31/2020, use code “TeamsDevices20” to receive a discount on a variety of products at checkout. To learn more about Surface Hub, click here.

 

*Voice assistance will launch first for Microsoft 365 Enterprise users in the U.S., in English. Not all Teams Room audio devices will support Cortana voice assistance.

 

 

32 Comments

 

Looks great, really excited about touchless meeting spaces. Great to see Microsoft reacting to the requirement. 

Senior Member

The COVID-19 is making us reinvent meetings and business forever, and Microsoft is doing a great job bringing us resources for the new normal: physical distancing, more human interaction during meetings. More to come! 

Senior Member

When will the coordinated join feature for Surface Hub and Microsoft Teams Room be enabled?

Occasional Visitor

Really great stuff to see! Is there any update on when Cloud Video Interop will be making its way to Teams Room Systems? As COVID has forced more and more of our business to be done using videoconferencing and a lot of our clients use Zoom, as we move back into the office we'd much prefer our client meetings to be held on our Lenovo ThinkSmart Hubs and big-screen TVs rather than on personal laptops.

Senior Member

nice, looking forward. btw, is the 9 video layout available on Teams Room devices now?

Senior Member

Great it makes our life easier, also there are bots available they can book meetings in teams i found one so like to share it here just https://tellme365.com/

Microsoft

@Ricky_Deng we are bringing a new 3x3 and other gallery improvements to our room devices later this year.  It's available now for Surface Hub, Q4 for the collaboration bars, and September for Teams Rooms.

Occasional Contributor

I struggle with all the enhancements NOT working on our rooms systems now. There seems to be a 6 month delay.  We still have 2 x 2 on the teams room system, we can't see the raised hand. The AI noise cancelling is not working (we hear conversations someone is having a cell phone and it's not the person in the room...it's the caller).

You have to get this FIXED so that people in the office can collaborate better with people working remotely.  It is super frustrating.

Microsoft

@stellarIT we are doing some re-architecture work on Microsoft Teams Rooms so that enhancements come to MTR at almost the same time as they do to Teams desktop.  Right now the delay is about a quarter, so you can expect to see 3x3 and raise hands coming to MTR soon. 

Microsoft

@TommySailing just to define terms, Cloud Video Interop is used to enable legacy VTCs, like Cisco systems, to join Teams meetings.  Having Teams Rooms join other meetings services is what we referred to as Direct Guest Join.  This was announced with WebEx and Zoom, where MTR would be able to join those meetings (and WebEx and Zoom room systems would be able to join Teams meetings using web technologies) and originally targeted to ship in H1 of this year.  Unfortunately due to COVID this has been delayed, and our partners on this are still working to enable DGJ.  We hope to deliver DGJ for MTR to Zoom meetings to TAP soon, and then GA in H2 of this CY. 

Occasional Contributor

@Ilya Bukshteyn thank you!  It will be so helpful to have them have releases at the same time!

Senior Member

@Ilya Bukshteyn nice to see WebRTC / Direct Guest Join is still on the horizon. Completely understand that focusing on the remote capabilities, etc. were more important in 1H 2020. I think that once people trickle back into the office (but not everyone) and some people are working from some offices while some are working remotely from our company and partner companies, WebRTC / DGJ will become invaluable. I look forward to it's GA release!

Microsoft

@Andrew Alexander totally agree and we are really looking forward to getting DGJ into the hands of our TAP customers and then to GA hopefully soon. 

Senior Member

@Greg Baribault thanks for the information, some cases/users are waiting for that on Teams Room system, looking forward to.

 

 

New Contributor

Some nice improvements here! Two questions:

 

  • Can you speak to the privacy/confidentiality of meetings from one session to the next for room systems, particularly for those coming to the room with no other device (using the in-room system only)? It is critical for us that no residual data (files, called number history, etc.) are retained from one meeting to another. 
  • Any news on progress for upgrading existing room systems with built-in mics/speakers and audio DSPs, multiple in-table video inputs, etc.? When we evaluated these systems in December 2019, there was very little support for this, and partners like Crestron said they still weren't in a position to provide these abilities, though marketing at the time seemed to imply even the largest rooms could be supported.

 

Thank you!

Ryan

Microsoft

@Ryan Helmer nothing is stored locally on the room system.  The room system joins the meeting, everything is with that meeting object.

We specifically Certify complete solutions so we can assert quality across all the components and support the entire solution. However for rooms with existing AV equipment, our partners do also offer core systems / integrator kits, which are basically just the room system compute and touch console, such as the Crestron C160-T:
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/microsoft-teams/across-devices/devices/product?devicei...

This system should connect to any AV equipment which can connect with USB, and those devices then should work, although since we have not Certified them we won't be able to support the AV equipment itself.

Note that we have now also Certified a variety of more advanced equipment such as DSPs, ceiling tile mics, etc.:
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/microsoft-teams/across-devices/devices/category?device...

New Contributor

@Ilya Bukshteyn Holy moly, that was a super fast response! Thank you! 

 

I will reconnect with our integrator. I think they did mention that C160-T unit (or at least the Flex line in general), but it sounded like maybe it was just too early to get more info last December. One sticking point at the time seemed to be the number of switchable HDMI inputs supported, and it appeared that our existing DSPs would likely need to be upgraded as well. 

 

Thank you for your quick response!

Microsoft

@Ryan Helmer we aim to please :happyface:  Any DSP which supports USB should work; we do not recommend trying to connect a DSP via analog connection.  MTR supports one HDMI input but of course you can put in a switcher ahead of that to support multiple inputs in a room. 

Thanks for your support of Teams and MTR!




New Contributor

@Ilya Bukshteyn Super helpful again! Much appreciated!

Occasional Visitor

@Ryan Helmer @Ilya Bukshteyn If you're looking to retain existing DSPs inexpensively but keep the USB interface for Teams rooms I recommend the Dante AVIO USB adapters. We have a system where a legacy Biamp TesiraForte in a server cabinet handles four meeting rooms. Our DSP did support Dante however if yours doesn't there's an AVIO adapter for that too.

Senior Member

@Ilya Bukshteyn  @Greg Baribault , The Room Remote is a great idea with the impact Covid has had and the concerns we have received regarding the Teams Rooms Consoles.  Is that feature planned for general release in this current quarter?

Also, is there a Microsoft Insider Program for Microsoft Teams Rooms?  We'd love to convert one of our MTRs to an Insider MTR to see and experience some of these features while in beta before the rest of our employees start using them so we can prepare training and Q/A to coincide with the eventual release.

Occasional Contributor

@Ilya Bukshteyn when will wireless casting be available? I assume it will be just seamless Teams meeting join from your personal device, right?

Microsoft

@Pavel Aivazov correct, our Teams casting uses proximity detection, but actually you don't have to have a meeting to cast (we do the cast via our cloud, just like a meeting screen share though). Our Teams rooms and collab bars already support receiving the Teams casts. You will start to see the cast send function appear in the different Teams clients around the end of this quarter. 

Just to add what @Ilya Bukshteyn said above - Teams casting will also come to Surface Hub at launch :)

Frequent Visitor

Are there any plans to be able to use Teams Meeting Rooms in Live Events ? 

Senior Member

@GerryVS, you can invite a MTR to a Live Event as a presenter and then the Live Event Producer can queue them up just as they would a person.

Microsoft

@GerryVS what @James_Muller said above is correct; we support MTR joining Live Events as presenter only.  We do not support joining as an attendee as the auth model for that gets very complicated on a locked down resource device.  There's also a simple work around of bringing in a Teams laptop and projecting the audio and video to the MTR if you want to watch the Live Event in the room as an attendee.

Occasional Visitor

an interesting development for sure - and one we will certainly be looking into - however whilst video/call-focused meetings via Teams take centre stage, of the uses cases presented, I have a concern/question with regard our traditional, current and future requirements for our collaborative spaces - namely, for when hosting sessions that employ graphically intensive CAD applications using local, in-room, workstations with specs. far exceeding those of a typical AV room used for meetups. Dependancy on local performance is why Surface Hubs and Studios, whilst attractive for their haptics (even in today's anti-touch climate) do not yet suit our needs and whilst we wait on the hardware to catch-up, or diversify, we require the software to greatly improve the sharing/showing desktop experience during a meeting feed. For example, those in room would see the content of the full screen and connected guests would see the screen content that's shared (window, portion, etc) whilst the Teams interface, with everyone's faces, the chat & other UI elements get docked/reduced to an absolute minimum. Perhaps we are doing something wrong, but screen real estate (on any device) feels far too cramped at present.

New Contributor

@Microsoft_Teams_team, any plans to support 2 screens when joining Zoom or Webex meetings?

Microsoft

@Vadim Dich not at this point; each vendor would need to do additional work to support this given it would effectively be multiple web sessions joining the same meeting and then coordinating to not just duplicate content. 

New Contributor

Thanks @Ilya Bukshteyn, that's understandable. In fact, it's a minor issue, compared to overall platform's stability ;)