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Microsoft Updates AI to Improve Teams Call Quality

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Image: Alina Kvaratskhelia - Alamy Stock Vector
Welcome to the No Jitter Roll, the regular round-up of news about collaboration and communication. In today's edition: Microsoft's new Teams features rely on AI to boost audio and video experience; Vection aims to bring the metaverse into your next Webex meeting. Vyopta's user profiles feature allows IT and A/V pros to monitor and troubleshoot tech equity issues for their users.
 
Microsoft Uses AI to Improve Teams Call Quality
The Redmond, WA, company summarized Teams enhancements meant to improve call quality on the collaborative workplace platform in a blog post. They include:
 
  • Echo cancellation: Microsoft says Teams is using AI to distinguish between the sound from a speaker and the user’s voice, dampening echoes without eliminating the original speaker's speech.
  • De-reverberation: This feature uses AI to analyze a speaker's audio to determine how much is the result of sound bouncing around a space and then to smooth it out so the speaker sounds as if they're talking close to a microphone.
  • Interruptibility without audio quality loss: Teams calls rely on full-duplex audio transmission, which allows users to speak and hear others at the same time. In order to retain conversational flow while eliminating any potential echo or reverb, Microsoft trained a machine learning model with 30,000 hours of speech samples, so the AI underpinning the audio in conversations can account for interruptions without a noticeable ding in sound quality.
  • Background noise suppression: Two years after it debuted AI-based noise suppression as an optional feature for Windows users, Microsoft has enabled machine learning-based noise suppression as default for Teams customers using Windows (including Microsoft Teams Rooms), as well as Mac and iOS users. An update for iOS and Android customers is planned.
  • Real-time screen optimization: Teams now uses machine learning to detect and adjust the characteristics of the content presented in real-time, from documents shared on-screen to live video.
  • Brightness and focus filters: Users now have the option to adjust brightness and add a soft focus for being on camera during meetings.
 
Vyopta Adds User Experience Profiles
The digital user experiment management company announced the addition of a User Experiences Profiles feature to its collaborative intelligence platform. The user experience profiles give IT, audiovisual, and UC/collaboration professionals insight into users' tech ecosystems, especially with connection speeds, to ensure a level of tech equity no matter where people are working and to assist in troubleshooting.
 
“Vyopta User Experience Profiles helps organizations remove barriers to productivity and wellness, and part of that is empowering effective collaboration among users working from anywhere with varied devices,” Alfredo Ramirez, Vyopta CEO, said.
 
Vection Technologies Introduces 3DFrame for Webex by Cisco
The 3D and VR enterprise solution technology company announced the no-code metaverse presentations app, which allows a Webex user to extend meetings into fully customized virtual worlds and present content in 3D and virtual reality (VR) environments. The virtual environment is the result of combining Webex's Embedded Apps Framework with 3DFrame by Vection Technologies.
 
"We are excited to partner with Vection to offer customers the ability to extend Webex meetings into the metaverse," said Jason Copeland, VP of product for Webex Platform. "Vection's approach to remove barriers between the physical and digital worlds offers extensive possibilities and reenforces potential of immersive hybrid work experiences."
 
This week, Cisco also held its annual customer and partner event, Cisco Live. For a look at some of the announcements made at the event, make sure to check out industry analyst Zeus Kerravala’s coverage in this article.

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