Ever since the pandemic forced everyone to make their business dealings remote, tech companies have been cooking up bigger and better ways of doing work and conducting business from a distance. Microsoft in particular has been dedicating more time to developing Microsoft Teams, their remote meeting video service, likely to compete with the surge of interest in services like Zoom and Slack. To that end, they’ve cooked up a new device to make your living-room-turned-office feel a little more board room-like.
Today, Microsoft unveiled their new Intelligent Speaker, a fancy doodad designed to make meetings on Microsoft Teams a little more user-friendly. When used as a medium for a remote meeting, this speaker can identify up to ten different meeting participants, and in turn generate an automatic transcript, with each speaker being identified specifically within. The device even supports live translation for companies working cross-country.
Microsoft’s new Intelligent Speakers deliver its promised meeting room of the future https://t.co/kCTIoscqt2 pic.twitter.com/RB4yPnSG1a
— Dr Ian McDonald. (@imcdnzl) March 2, 2021
Microsoft has actually been developing this device for about three years now, though the pandemic, as well as recent notions of taking businesses remote full time, likely lit a fire under them and prompted them to speed up development. This was also why Microsoft enlisted some outside help developing the hardware from Yealink and Epos.
No word yet on when this device will be available or how much it’ll cost. Hopefully, they can get it done before everyone’s vaccinated and we don’t need it anymore. That’d be pretty embarrassing.