Microsoft adds 'Infinite Whiteboards' to Teams

Microsoft Teams

Collaboration tool celebrates its second birthday with innovative updates

Microsoft has added a host of features to its collaboration tool Teams, to celebrate the apps 2nd birthday.

The updates included customisable backgrounds, new security features and support for users who are hard of hearing or death. But, the most interesting addition is a camera-based feature that lets users share whiteboard content.

'Infinite Whiteboards' is a digital canvas for all participants to work on. It even allows for content to be transferred from a physical whiteboard by using a USB camera with Microsoft's Intelligent Capture function. It allows one user to capture content from their whiteboard, re-focus or resize it, enhance the images and text so remote attendees can clearly see what is being brainstormed on the whiteboard. If changes are made to the board during the call, the content will still be seen by the remote attendees in real-time.

The feature will be available later in the year, but it's one of a number of new functions for Teams that offer a different way to collaborate - making it more inclusive. Not everyone digests information in the same way and images may offer a better explanation to a complex project.

Similarly, Teams have also added support of those who are hard of hearing of death with live captions. These are essentially real-time subtitles for users to stay in sync with the conversation.

Also added to the service are secure private channels, where a user can restrict or enable participants to see certain channels without the need for creating separate teams. There is also 'Information Barriers' that limit who can see and share certain content, adding a layer of privacy and security to sensitive or private content.

"This week marks the second anniversary of the worldwide launch of Microsoft Teams," said Lori Wright, GM of Microsoft 365. "Over the past two years, Teams has grown significantly in both new capabilities and customer usage, as the hub for teamwork that brings people together and fosters a culture of engagement and inclusion. Today, more than 500,000 organizations, including 91 of the Fortune 100, are using Teams to collaborate across locations, time zones and languages.

"Microsoft Teams is improving workplace collaboration by helping organizations move from an array of disparate apps to a single, secure hub that brings together what teams need including chat, meetings and calling, all with native integration to the Office 365 apps. Users can customize and extend their experience with third-party apps, processes and devices, giving them the tools they need to get work done."

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