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Enhanced Microsoft Teams Rooms



Explore how Microsoft is transforming standard conference rooms into enhanced Microsoft Teams Rooms that bring the best of the new Teams front row experience. Use this article for room design and technology guidance, recommended products, and Microsoft Corporate Facilities reference specifications.


Microsoft's Vision for the Future of Meeting Rooms


The future of work will be fluid, dynamic, and powered by the cloud. Microsoft enables meeting experiences that allow people to be there, from anywhere, at any time. These meetings are hybrid, which means you can join them seamlessly. Meetings enhanced with Microsoft devices are inclusive; every voice is heard, and everyone is clearly represented.


Microsoft sees a future where meetings are immersive and spaces are designed around people. Our dynamic meeting views keep everyone connected to the content and each other: Formal presentations are paired with collaborative chats. Digital canvases unleash group creativity. Everyone can connect face to face wherever they are.


The vision for the future of meetings is grounded in a simple belief: meetings should offer so much more than just a one-time transaction. Meetings will be designed for everyone, whether they're in the room or across the world.


What is an enhanced Microsoft Teams Room?


In Microsoft's hybrid workplace, the next generation of room standards are informed by the needs of both remote and in-room participants. An enhanced room is a Microsoft Teams Room designed to deliver an elevated hybrid meeting experience, fostering more natural and immersive connections while enabling everyone in the meeting to feel included, represented, and productive. The room follows a set of principles made real through a combination of Teams Rooms software and hardware capabilities and room configuration guidance.


The concept for the enhanced Microsoft Teams Room is designed around two key goals that are supported by a set of experience principles


Goal 1: Everyone in the meeting feels included, represented, and productive


Design Principles:

  • Remote participants can establish a genuine presence in the room

  • In-room participants can retain their individual identity in the meeting

  • All meeting participants can engage in boundaryless collaboration


Goal 2: Connections feel natural and immersive


Design Principles:

  • Experiences are scaled for human connection, enabling interactions that feel like everyone is in the same room.

An enhanced room experience is all those components and ideas put together with no single feature defining the experience. The individual features and concepts found in our enhanced Microsoft Teams Rooms may also be deployed on their own.

Examples of specific feature deployment:

  • Take advantage of our new front row front-of-room display experience in all types of meeting spaces where there is a Microsoft Teams Room solution that supports it.

  • Implement curved tables and front-facing layouts with traditional Microsoft Teams Room experiences to promote better human connection in the room while maintaining continuity of experience across all meeting spaces.

When should you deploy this room type?


Enhanced Microsoft Teams Rooms are not meant to be a replacement for all other meeting spaces inside your organization, but rather to act as a supplement to existing meeting spaces that utilize Microsoft Teams. They should be deployed strategically within your organization to the spaces and locations where face-to-face interactions with remote meeting participants will be most valued.


Microsoft Teams Rooms will continue to deliver people-centric hybrid meeting experiences made available through software updates. However, there are hardware technologies and room configuration guidance that play a key role in optimizing some of the enhanced experiences. It's the combination of these components that comprise an enhanced Microsoft Teams Room. When evaluating how many Microsoft Teams Rooms you want to evolve to an enhanced Microsoft Teams Room, consider the following:

  • What hardware upgrades and/or investments would need to be made.

  • Most conference rooms are designed to maximize valuable square footage with a close relationship between room dimension and room capacity. An enhanced Microsoft Teams Room prioritizes the meeting experience above maximizing square footage. Not every organization can prioritize this way for every meeting space, as it could reduce the number of meeting rooms they can have.

Understanding this space

Balancing hybrid flexibility with inclusion:


At Microsoft, our flexible work guidelines prioritize giving employees choice and flexibility about where to work and when. This fundamental shift in policy has made us rethink the evolution of our meeting spaces and technology.


Our research has shown that remote meetings during the pandemic have had many benefits—particularly around increased feelings of equity and inclusion. As we think about returning in a hybrid setting, with remote and in-person collaboration happening simultaneously, we sought to create meeting spaces that better support our flexible work policies while maintaining a level playing field for all participants through room design and technology.


What is this space used for?


This space is dedicated to the most immersive Teams meeting experience for a small group of people in the physical room.


Just like a typical Microsoft Teams Room, meeting participants are able to meet remotely and locally to work together seamlessly while both presenting and co-creating content.


How is this space laid out?


The room layout is designed for maximum visibility and engagement with remote participants and content.


The layout features a curved table for in-person eye contact and orientation to remote participants with all chairs facing the display so participants are able to follow along.


What is this space used for?


Using audio solutions certified for Microsoft Teams Rooms, people are able to hear and be heard clearly.


Just like a typical Microsoft Teams Room, meeting participants are able to meet remotely and locally to work together seamlessly while both presenting and co-creating content.


How does the audio work?


The room layout is designed for maximum visibility and engagement with remote participants and content.


In the future, Teams Rooms will support audio systems that utilize a concept called spatial audio. With spatial audio, sound emanates from the direction of the person speaking. For example, if a person located on the right side of the meeting gallery speaks, the audio will come from the speaker located closest to that location. This kind of immersive audio experience helps meetings more closely resemble an in-person conversation.


How does the camera work?


An ultrawide-angle camera is positioned at the front of the room below the displays to capture everyone in the space.


The ultrawide-angle camera features intelligent tracking of meeting participants so they can be represented individually in a large view instead of as faces within a large image of the entire room.

How do the front-of-room displays work?


This room is optimized for the Microsoft Teams Rooms layout called front row and is displayed through a specialized short-throw high-resolution projector, creating an immersive front-of-room experience designed specifically for Teams meetings.


What is Front Row?


To give people in the room a greater sense of connection to remote participants and support collaboration before, during, and after meetings, Microsoft introduced a new content layout for Microsoft Teams Rooms called front row. Visually, this new layout moves the video gallery to the bottom of the screen and is fixed at a specific ratio to keep faces lifelike in size. With this layout, in-room participants can see remote colleagues face to face across a horizontal plane—similar to if they were in the same room.


Meeting content is surrounded by contextual fluid components like the agenda, tasks, and notes, which can be updated in real time, helping participants stay engaged and productive. Additionally, the meeting chat is brought clearly into view so that when joining a Teams meeting from a Teams Room, you can easily see and engage in the conversation in real time. In an enhanced Microsoft Teams Room, this content is displayed on a wide-aspect-ratio screen to maximize the size of meeting content and the number of participants that can be viewed simultaneously.


This layout is supported across both single- and dual-display configurations. While the front row layout is especially impactful in an enhanced room, front row can be used in any Teams Room running on Windows, regardless of the furniture and hardware configuration.


How do you co-create content?


In Microsoft Teams Rooms, users can take advantage of traditional, analog whiteboarding by using the intelligent capture feature. For a modernized experience where all participants can draw and ink together, Microsoft Whiteboard can be accessed using a touchscreen front-of-room display, companion devices like a PC, phone, or tablet, and through Microsoft Surface Hub.


Enhanced Microsoft Teams Rooms Design Guidance


This section is intended to cover building a room from scratch.


Room Layout

Room Size 25 ft x 14 ft



Room Capacity


This enhanced Microsoft Teams Room is optimized for between 6 - 8 people.


Room Furniture


This room features a curved table with participants seated on one side, allowing in-room participants to retain visibility of each other and be positioned face to face with remote participants.


This room features a standard meeting room table with a height of 30 in or 76 cm.


Equipment Mounting


Selecting a location for hardware is typically driven by the selection of Teams Room-certified hardware used within a given meeting space.


For the initial deployments of enhanced rooms within our Microsoft facilities, we have chosen to mount the Microsoft Teams Rooms compute and touch console at the table, with an integrated camera and soundbar device (with discrete left- and right-channel audio for spatial audio) mounted on specialized furniture, located below the displayed image as well as between the front-of-room projection and the table. It's important to keep the console within reach of participants without impeding their use of the table for personal devices and/or documents. For the display, a short-throw high-resolution projector is used.


Most participants will choose to share content within this type of meeting room by joining the Teams meeting via a personal device. However, in-room local video presentation should also be made available at the table in an easily accessible manner for those who are unable to join the meeting call.


Touch Console Placement


The Microsoft Teams Rooms touch console should be mounted in the center of the table within easy reach of meeting participants without blocking usage of the table for personal devices or documents.


Local video presentation


Though many participants may choose to share content within this type of meeting room by joining the Teams meeting via a personal device to the Teams call, in-room local video presentation should also be made available at the table in an easily accessible manner.


Enhanced Microsoft Teams Rooms Design Guidance


Infrastructure Power


At a minimum, electrical power connections should be provided at both the table (for end users) and at the equipment mounting location. If co-create devices are used in the space, electrical power connections may also be required at their location(s).


Infrastructure Data


Networking connections should be provided at both the table (for end users) and at the equipment mounting location (for the main network for the Teams Rooms solution). If co-create devices are used in the space, network connections will also be required that connect to the main network for the Teams Rooms solution.


Acoustic Wall Treatments


At least two walls in a room of this type should be acoustically treated to prevent echo and ambient noise issues during meetings.


Window Treatments


Light from windows in a room of this type may negatively affect the lighting and introduce glare and shadows to both the camera image and the front-of-room display. Any space featuring windows should also feature window treatments that allow for external light to be blocked during meetings.


Floor Treatments


The floor in a room of this type should be carpeted or otherwise acoustically treated to prevent echo and ambient noise issues during meetings.


Lighting


Overhead lights should be provided to illuminate the space evenly, with meeting room participants not appearing to be washed out or sitting in a dark space. Efforts to minimize direct lighting on front-of-room displays, co-create devices, or other reflective surfaces within the space should be taken to avoid introducing glare.


Technology Guidance


Microsoft Teams Rooms Solution


Enhanced rooms for Microsoft Teams require the use of Microsoft Teams Rooms on Microsoft Windows.


Cameras


Camera options

A room of this type requires the use of an intelligent, ultrawide-angle front-of-room camera that is appropriately rated for the width and depth of space.


Camera placement

The camera should be placed at the front of the room below the front-of-room projection but above the top of the table to capture all the meeting room participants at as close to eye level as possible.


Microphones


Microphone options

Front-of-room microphone arrays and tabletop and overhead microphones will work for this type of space.


Microphone placement

Microphone arrays need to be positioned to provide coverage for all meeting room participants within the certified range of the device.


Speakers


Speaker options

Front-of-room speaker arrays and overhead speakers will work for this type of space.

Note: Spatial audio is not yet available and may require specific audio devices.


Speaker placement

Speakers need to be positioned to provide coverage for all meeting room participants within the certified range of the device or devices used.


Floor treatments


The floor in a room of this type should be carpeted or otherwise acoustically treated to prevent echo and ambient noise issues during meetings.


Front-of-Room display


Display type


A room of this type requires the use of an ultrawide aspect ratio, high-resolution front-of-room display that is appropriately sized for the width and depth of space to ensure maximum visibility and clarity.

Example display types include:

  • Laser projectors

  • LED video walls

  • Specialty LCD or OLED flat panel displays

Display functions


Enhanced Microsoft Teams Rooms, as with all other Microsoft Teams Rooms solutions, require the use of displays that can accommodate the following features for proper operation:

  • Sleep and Quick Wake Up from sleep based on HDMI sync.

    • For projectors, automatic warm-up and cooldown periods must be supported without required user intervention.


  • Displays must support the appropriate EDID and resolutions required by the Microsoft Teams Rooms design.

Display placement


An enhanced room requires that the display is placed in front of all the in-room meeting participants, directly opposite the table.

The horizontal center line of the display must be centered on the same center line as the table.


The vertical center line of the display must be no more than +/- 15 degrees offset from the eye line of a typical in-room meeting participant seated at the table.


Display count


An enhanced room requires that the display is either a single wide-aspect ratio display or a blended combination of displays that can achieve the effect of being a single display when seen by in-room meeting participants.


Co-create options


Microsoft whiteboard


All Teams Rooms are able take advantage of Microsoft Whiteboard through an interactive collaboration device such as a Microsoft Surface Hub, a touchscreen front-of-room display, and through companion devices like a PC, phone, or tablet.


Traditional whiteboard


All Teams Rooms on Windows can leverage traditional whiteboards in a Teams meeting by using the intelligent capture feature and a secondary content camera.



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Contact Kathea for more information and pricing on our Microsoft Teams Room Solutions!


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info@kathea.co.za

011 844 9900

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