Zoom’s earnings may have exceeded all expectations in 2020 as millions of people turned to video conferencing during the pandemic. But Zoom isn’t the only game in town, and one day meetings won’t be entirely virtual.
So Microsoft is showing off a new Intelligent Speaker system designed for use in Microsoft Teams hybrid meetings where some people are in the room.
Not only can these speakers pick up multiple voices in a conference room, but it uses artificial intelligence to create transcripts in real-time. It can even differentiate up to 10 different voices and add participant’s names to the transcript so you know who said what.
Microsoft says it’ll make its intelligent speakers available in private preview later in 2021. The speaker has a 7-microphone array for detecting voices and uses speech recognition to provide real-time captions for meetings and transcripts that can be viewed later.
While transcripts can help create a record of in-person meetings or virtual ones, some features are clearly aimed at folks following along in real-time via a computer screen. For example, there’s support for real-time captions, and The Verge reports the speakers also support translation, allowing remote participants to follow the meeting in their own language.