Newly launched Signature Teams Rooms from Microsoft raise the hybrid work experience to a whole new level
Hybrid or flexible meetings have become one of the more important aspects of enterprise collaboration in recent times. As a result, organisations increasingly feel the need to have some meeting spaces that can create a more equitable environment for virtual and in-person participants.
Signature Microsoft Teams Rooms are part of a new vision for more inclusive and engaging meeting spaces. They embrace next-generation room standards, making collaboration easier and amplifying the experience for all attendees. They feature a particular combination of display, conference table, intelligent cameras and audio devices that work together to create better face-to-face engagement and a more immersive experience.
Signature Teams Room embraces the hybrid experience
The recently launched Signature Teams Room incorporates several design elements and standards (beyond traditional Microsoft Teams Rooms) to bridge the gap in meeting room experiences for virtual participants. Of course, the Microsoft Teams cloud platform remains at the heart of the system, providing reliability and a powerful set of enterprise collaboration features.
Most importantly, its modular and flexible nature allows the creation of interactive and engaging hybrid meeting spaces without incurring excessive costs. However, there are a few adjustment to the room architecture and equipment, which unlock more intuitive, immersive and engaged interactions, especially for remote participants.
a. An improved visual presence for all participants
The enhancements brought in with the Signature Teams Room solution, take the Front Row layout to a new level. Intelligent cameras and video framing technology make each person seen clearly in their own video stream, making their expressions and reactions more visible. The AI software also improves the experience for remote attendees, as it eliminates background sounds, blurs backgrounds, identifies faces automatically and picks the best angles and framing for each person. The system also tracks and follows each person (audio and video) as they move around the space or even when they enter or exit the room.
b. Ensuring optimal eye contact
To ensure better engagement, the room places importance on ensuring excellent visibility and eye contact with all participants. This is facilitated in various ways, starting with a curved table which has in-room participants seated on one side and facing the screen. This allows the in-room participants to maintain visibility between each other even as they are face-to-face with the remote participants. An ultrawide-angle camera is placed at eye level (and closer to participants) so it captures everyone in the room clearly and brings everybody’s face onto the same plane.
c. Viewing various meeting aspects simultaneously
With a large 21:9 display, the Signature Teams Room makes all participants visible in lifesize, which creates a feeling of everyone being in the same room. The “taller” aspect ratio allows participants to simultaneously view various aspects of the meeting with clarity – the room, content, colleagues, reactions and the chat stream. This provides them with a more connected experience, which in turn leads to better satisfaction and conversations
d. Teams Certified devices facilitate extended capability
Another thing that stands out when setting up a new Signature Teams Room is how smoothly various Teams Certified devices work together. For example, it’s pretty easy to incorporate the Microsoft Surface Hub 2S as a secondary content source for whiteboarding using a coordinated join feature. A ceiling-mounted content camera can also be integrated to display documents and objects with greater clarity.
A device like the Crestron Mercury (Teams Edition) can take the experience even further – by bringing True One Touch Join capability. A single touch not just starts your video call, but also prepares all aspects of the room for it by automatically turning on the lights, setting the HVAC and activating the display. It is also an in-room VC compute device which means people don’t necessarily have to carry their devices with them.
e. Modular and simple to deploy
One of the most surprising aspects of the Signature Teams Rooms may be just how simple it is to deploy, especially in new builds. It can be adapted for medium or large meeting spaces, with relatively small adjustments to the table design and hardware. This is a far cry from erstwhile telepresence technology, which required much larger investments and extensive room customisations to work. The Microsoft Teams-certified devices make it simple to integrate and customise for your room and substantially cut down the time it takes to get your meeting space to completion.
The next step for organisational agility
As the video collaboration infrastructure within organisations continues to evolve, organisations have made significant investments in collaboration spaces for in-person and virtual meetings. There is also an increasing understanding that a balance between general purpose, special purpose and multi-purpose collaboration spaces is necessary.
Signature Teams Rooms can supplement an organisation’s existing meeting infrastructure by providing a truly flexible meeting space which adapts well to changing meeting requirements. This makes it worth considering for any organisation which may be in the process of setting up new collaboration infrastructure to improve team productivity.