Microsoft is introducing the “Together Mode” for videoconferencing. This new option offers something different than square grids of people’s faces. As part of the Microsoft Team’s Business software, this mode shows an auditorium and places people in virtual seats together. According to MIT Technology Review site, it “uses artificial intelligence to take a cutout of your live video image and place it into a fixed position within a setting.”
Seeing everyone together in one image and removing the potentially distracting personal backgrounds might make virtual meetings more productive. Also, since it’s hard not to be aware of yourself on any screen, this format might feel less anxiety-inducing and intrusive of personal space.
It’s new technology with the potential to make virtual meetings more like in-person meetings, as much as that’s possible in a virtual realm. Read more about Microsoft Team’s “Together Mode” and how it might reduce virtual meeting fatigue here.