Updated feature of Microsoft’s Together Mode

Khevna.P.Shah, INN/Bangalore

@Shahkhevna1, @Infodeaofficial

The new feature of Microsoft teams allows the Together Mode to be activated only with two participants, initially, in July 2020, it required a minimum of five participants to activate the together mode.

This new feature was first tweeted by Amanda Sterner, a tech blogger and it was first spotted by OnMSFT. Until now, Microsoft allowed the participants to activate the Together Mode when there were 5 to 49 participants present in the meeting, however with the recent update, two or more participants in a meeting can activate the Together Mode.

How to activate Together Mode?

To activate Together Mode, the users will have to navigate to the meeting controls visible on the top right corner of the meeting window. Select the three-dot icon that will lead to a drop-down menu. From there the users can select the Together Mode option to activate this feature. The feature is only available for the users of Microsoft Developer preview and would require getting it activated for both personal and professional accounts. However, users with a professional account may be unable to do it as it can be restricted by their organization.

Microsoft Team’s Together Mode uses  Artificial Intelligence (AI) segmentation technology to place participants in a shared background such as an auditorium. Microsoft also says that Together Mode allows it to make it easier to pick up non-verbal cues making the conversation feel more natural.

The Together Mode was first introduced in July 2020 during the coronavirus-induced lockdown to improve the video calling experience. As per Microsoft, this feature was introduced to reduce the fatigue experienced by the participants due to the long duration of video calls resulting in staring at the screen for an extended period of time and with different backgrounds waiting for their chance to start speaking, among many other issues.

Other than that, Microsoft has also added a feature that allows the user to create a shared to-do list and assign tasks to others in the group.

In July 2020, to test the Together Mode, Microsoft along with NBA installed 17-foot-tall (5.2m)LED screens that wrap three sides of each game court, allowing the fans to attend the basketball match virtually.

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