Microsoft is always improving its communication and collaboration platform for meetings and teamwork called Microsoft Teams. Recently, the company added several features, including customization and improving the overall experience of using Microsoft Teams. It has over 250 million active users and offers cloud storage, integrated applications, digital whiteboard, and video conferencing features.

You can perform various tasks like chatting, holding meetings, managing files, tasks, and notes in one place. Since it is a cloud-based platform, you can access it from anywhere with an internet connection, and it is available on all major platforms like Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices. Microsoft Teams is used by businesses of all sizes and educational institutions.

Improved Live Captions

Microsoft is rolling out customized live captions and avatars for Teams Meetings in beta.

The live caption has been available in Microsoft Teams since 2019. It helps participants follow the conversation. Users also have the option to enable or disable live caption from the meetings settings menu, but they can’t customize it. With the latest update, Microsoft announced a new option to customize the live caption on Microsoft Teams.

Benefits of Live Caption in Meetings

  • People who are deaf or hard of hearing
  • People who speak different languages
  • People who are blind or have low vision
  • People in loud environments

This feature lets users customize the appearance of live captions in meetings. It is currently available in Preview. With this feature, users can customize the font, font size, background, and color of live captions to improve visibility and readability. Users can also show or hide the speaker’s name and the time stamp.

Accessing and using the custom caption feature in Microsoft Teams was quite easy.

These changes you made won’t affect other people in the meetings.

To customize Live Caption:

  1. Open the Meeting Settings Menu.
  2. Select the Subtitles tab.
  3. Choose the option you want to change.
  4. Customize Live Caption.
  5. Click Apply.

After enabling Live Caption, select the spoken language from the list. Then, customize caption settings by clicking on the Settings gear icon at the bottom of the caption box.

Microsoft aims to improve accessibility and inclusion for users with hearing impairments or linguistic diversity. The live caption makes it easier for everyone to participate in meetings. Microsoft hasn’t announced when it will become generally available to everyone.

Avatars for Microsoft Teams Meetings

Microsoft is releasing Avatars in Preview for users with Microsoft 365 Business and Enterprise licenses on Windows and macOS Desktop apps. This feature allows users to create a digital version of themselves, similar to a feature introduced by Zoom that allows users to use anime and human-like avatars.

In addition, Microsoft recently announced Snapchat Filters for Microsoft Teams.

Avatars can now represent you in Teams meetings instead of video feeds. However, this feature is unavailable on mobile devices or in the Team Web app. The avatars have improved to be more realistic and can include physical features and clothing. Even reactions are customizable, so you can express yourself without being on camera.

Microsoft recommends that users have a Windows PC or Mac with four CPU cores or more and 8GB of RAM or better to use Team avatars for an immersive experience. Anyone with a supported license can join a meeting with an avatar.

The avatars are also available on PC and VR headsets powered by Microsoft Mesh, a mixed-reality platform announced in 2021. It is available in Private Preview starting today, and developers can create shared experiences for remote and hybrid workers.