Homeworkers rejoice: Microsoft Teams’ new customized background feature hides distractions at the press of a button

Microsoft Teams - customised background feature

A scattering of toys. A snoozing cat. A well-deserved mug of coffee. These are the signs of life that make a home – but they can also be a source of stress if you’ve got a video call with a client.

Enter customized backgrounds – a new Microsoft Teams feature, due to arrive later this year, which will cleverly replace your background on a video call at the press of a button, with no Hollywood green screen magic required.

Building upon Teams’ existing intelligent background blur technology, the new feature will allow you to select a custom background, such as a company logo or office environment, taking the pressure off those important calls, while minimising distractions.

This upcoming new feature, however, will not be alone. As Teams celebrates its two-year anniversary, with more than 500,000 organisations around the world using it to collaborate across time-zones, locations and languages, Microsoft has revealed more new innovations that will make Teams better than ever.

For more information, please visit the official Microsoft 365 Blog post.

Content cameras and Intelligent Capture in Microsoft Teams Rooms will soon support an additional camera for capturing content, such as information on analogue whiteboards. Using any USB camera, Microsoft Teams Rooms leverages Microsoft’s new Intelligent Capture processing to capture, focus, resize, and enhance whiteboard images and text, so remote attendees can clearly see whiteboard brainstorming in real time, even when someone is standing in front of the whiteboard. Coming later this year.

Teams Whiteboard Capture in action

Microsoft Whiteboard in Teams meetings provides an infinite digital canvas for meeting participants to work together directly in Teams. With upcoming support for Whiteboard in Microsoft Teams Rooms, in-person attendees can also contribute. You can even add content from a physical whiteboard onto the Whiteboard canvas without having to recreate it from scratch. Whether you choose to participate from the meeting room or remotely, Whiteboard in Teams enables everyone to actively participate in the conversation. Now in public preview.

Live captions make your Teams meetings more inclusive for attendees who are deaf or hard of hearing, or have different levels of language proficiency, or are connecting from a loud location. Improve meeting effectiveness by allowing attendees to read speaker captions in real-time so they can more easily stay in sync and contribute to the discussion. English preview coming soon.

Secure private channels allow you to customize which members of the team can see conversations and files associated with a channel. You can restrict channel participation and exposure when needed without having to create separate teams to limit visibility. This is one of our top requested features and we’re excited to be actively testing this internally and with select customers. Coming later this year.

Information barriers avoid conflicts of interest within your organization by limiting which individuals can communicate and collaborate with each other in Microsoft Teams. This helps limits the disclosure of information by controlling communication between the holders of information and colleagues representing different interests, for example, in Firstline Worker scenarios. This is particularly helpful for organizations that need to adhere to ethical walls requirements and other related industry standards and regulations. Coming soon.

Microsoft Teams infographic showing adoption

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) in chats and conversations enables customers to detect, automatically protect, and screen for sensitive information in chats and channel conversations. By creating DLP policies, admins can help prevent sensitive information from unintentionally being shared or leaked – either inside or outside of the organization. Now generally available in all Office 365 and Microsoft 365 plans that include Office 365 Advanced Compliance.

Live events in Microsoft 365 enables anyone to create live and on-demand events that deliver compelling communications to employees, customers and partners. Events use video and interactive discussion across Teams, Stream, or Yammer and can be as simple, or as sophisticated as needed. Up to 10,000 attendees can participate in real-time from anywhere, on any device, or catch up later with powerful artificial intelligence (AI) features—such as automatic transcription—to unlock the content of the event recording. Now generally available.

To learn more about these announcements and more, read our detailed blog on the Teams Tech Community, and the original Microsoft 365 Blog post.

 

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