If the global coronavirus pandemic taught us anything, it’s that businesses all around the world need technology to continue functioning if working in a traditional office environment isn’t possible. Hardware and software technology and products to allow people to work remotely and still conduct business have boomed over the last year. Microsoft has announced new Intelligent Speakers that are small devices able to identify up to 10 different voices in a Microsoft Teams meeting.
The Intelligent Speakers are essentially like having an employee take detailed meeting notes without having to take notes. The speakers can automatically generate a transcript during a meeting identifying each individual speaker on the meeting. Intelligent Speakers are also designed to make it easier to allow remote attendees to follow the meeting and see who’s talking.
Microsoft worked with Yealink and Epos to create the hardware, which also supports translation. The translation feature means that a team member who doesn’t speak the native language the meeting is conducted in can get a printed transcript in their own language. There is still some mystery about the new Intelligent Speakers.
The biggest mystery is that Microsoft, for now, has an announced nothing on availability or pricing. We do know the Surface Hub is certified to be an Intelligent Speaker. It’s also worth noting that Microsoft was working on the new speaker products before the pandemic. It just happened to be a product appealing during the pandemic as well.
Microsoft Teams has proven to be extremely popular during the pandemic, with some of the country’s largest companies relying heavily on Teams for keeping remote workers connected and on the same page. While Microsoft has given no firm date, the assumption is details on pricing and availability will be available soon.