31 May 2021 | Marcin Kapuscinski

Teams Rooms – software & hardware synergy

What’s the future of teamwork? Nobody knows where they will be located on the “traditional work – 100% remote work” axis, but technological giants are already developing and improving solutions for all possible scenarios. They learn on the fly and agile react to what works and what doesn’t. The latest idea from Microsoft is a synergy of properly matched software and hardware, although some will even see a hi-fi arrangement concept in it.

The solution, named Teams Rooms, is a new idea for a focus room – a place where we can hold an important meeting, with the participation of both present employees and people outside the office. An integral part of the environment is a number of certified devices created by manufacturers cooperating with Microsoft (Audiocodes, Crestron, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Logitech, Poly, Yealink). However, it cannot be denied that the most important role here is played by artificial intelligence, whose overarching goal is to create an experience of being together – even if a large part of the team is outside the room.

Teams Rooms consist of the following components:

  • Teams panel – a tablet-like device mounted next to the focus room. It contains information about the meeting (subject, schedule, number of attendees, booking possibility) and is synchronized with the Teams or Outlook 365 calendar;

  • intelligent camera that detects individual meeting participants and optimizes the field of view to include everyone present;

  • content camera – a camera that sends a separate image to Teams from the board, on which the participants draw personally. Content can now be digitized so that everyone, including remote workers, can work on such a whiteboard. As you can see in the photo, the camera is able to partially remove the character of the writer so that the whiteboard is still in the foreground;

  • intelligent speaker that recognizes voices, so the transcription is divided into persons;

  • A screen or … 2 screens – one displays the remote participants of the meeting, the other the presented content;

  • ceiling tile microphones, hidden in the ceiling plate, capture clear sound from every corner of the room;

  • frontal speakers, creating the impression that the sound comes directionally – from the figures of individual remote participants;

  • Wide-angle (180 degrees) camera that captures everyone in the room;

  • room tracking camera, capturing the speaker and showing him in an optimized way, selecting the appropriate zoom and framing.

The entire set can be flexibly adapted to the situation: from simple, integrated soundbars to larger systems containing many microphones, speakers, cameras and screens. In most cases, computers must be connected to the M365 service. The set can be managed in a special Microsoft 365 admin center panel.

Marcin Kapuściński – Transition Technologies Managed Services