Microsoft has just demonstrated a meeting room of the future at the company's Build developer conference. Meeting rooms, conference calls and meetings in general are often a nightmare, but Microsoft is working on a hardware prototype that will facilitate meetings. The demonstration of the Microsoft meeting room is really impressive and gives an idea of what is possible in the future.
It all starts with a 360-degree camera and an array of microphones that can detect anyone in a meeting room, greet them and even transcribe exactly what they say in a meeting regardless of the language. Microsoft has been working on translating functions for Skype for years, and the meeting room of the future includes this technology.
Microsoft takes the stage of the meeting room even further. The company is using its artificial intelligence tools to act on what the participants in the meeting say. If someone says "I'll get in touch with you next week," they'll be notified by Microsoft Teams, Microsoft's Slack competitor, to act on that promise. Cortana already does this in Windows 10, but this feature makes a lot of sense in a meeting room setting.
It is not clear when this meeting room scenario will become reality, but Microsoft's demonstration seemed to accurately transcribe participants and identify them well. Microsoft has promised new Surface Hub screens in the first half of 2018, and it's easy to imagine that future Surface Hub could be the ideal device for Microsoft's wild meeting room.