Microsoft is adding support for smaller gatherings to Teams’ Together Mode feature, which uses AI to place all meeting participants in virtual environments (via OnMSFT).
Sports fans may recognise the feature from the NBA’s use of it to provide a crowd-like experience for basketball games during the pandemic. The change, which allows for smaller crowds, is the polar opposite of that and is currently in beta. Given Microsoft’s emphasis on Teams as a personal communications app as well as a corporate one, it’s not surprising that Together Mode will work for both family gatherings and company-wide all-hands meetings.
At the moment, it appears that the feature is only available to Teams Developer Preview users.
The fact that it is in preview also puts an asterisk next to the word “together.” When it was tested with one client running the preview and one that wasn’t, the Together interface only appeared on the computer that was running the preview. On the computer, it appeared to be a regular Teams call.