Microsoft Teams calls at your workplace could soon look a lot different thanks to a new feature that’s rolling out now.
The video conferencing platform has revealed that virtual avatars are now rolling out to all users of the Windows and Mac Microsoft Teams desktop app.
The new offering, which has been in testing since January 2023, looks to make meetings more bearable by providing users with more customization options, but also livening up the look and feel of calls.
Avatars for Microsoft Teams
In its entry on the official Microsoft 365 roadmap, the company noted that the feature will give users, “the option to break the camera, while encouraging sharing and fun,” noting that avatars will be customizable, along with new personalized reactions.
New visual effects include animated frames and video color adjustment, in addition to existing tools that allow users to blur backgrounds and smooth the video feed to camouflage and hide blemishes.
It’s not yet clear how appropriate these new avatars and reactions will be for work-related calls, but the company has also noted that the new avatars for Microsoft Teams offer an alternative to the current “video or no video” binary option.
FaceTime users have long been able to apply their Animoji or Memoji while on a video call, so Microsoft is hoping its launch will help entice more users towards Teams as a whole.
At a recent Microsoft Build event, the company also announced the launch of new “immersive spaces” for Microsoft Teams calls.
Built with its new Microsoft Mesh development platform, the company says its new spaces will provide an immersive Teams meeting experience — useful if you need a bit of detachment from the office.
Accessible either through a PC or a VR headset, experiences will obviously be able to span across large virtual locations, giving the opportunity to move between different rooms or spaces in order to communicate with different teams or people, and spatial audio will mean that users can You can participate in single conversations or a larger discussion with multiple conversations seamlessly.
So the new platform can be used to enhance one team’s communication, or be the backbone of a virtual conference or corporate event.
The new immersive spaces will be available for preview within the next few days, ahead of a wider launch later this year.