Technology Record - Issue 32: Spring 2024

71 “Technology companies are integrating AI into products to isolate speakers in a meeting, filter background noise and control lighting levels,” says Wargo. “We saw great examples of this at the Integrated Systems Europe event, where there were demonstrations of meeting rooms with smart speakers and cameras, and multi-camera platforms. With these, AI plays the role of a production manager for a meeting, switching between pictures of attendees who speak to make meetings more engaging for those taking part.” Microsoft partners Crestron and Sony showcased their AI-powered framing cameras at ISE. Crestron’s 1 Beyond PTZ cameras are equipped with visual AI framing and tracking capabilities and Sony’s PTZ Auto Framing cameras use AI analytics to pan, tilt and zoom on speakers in a meeting. With these advanced technologies, companies are creating solutions that bridge the gap between differing remote work environments and paving the way towards achieving digital equity, by connecting teams more effectively and inclusively. “Digital equity is about ensuring every employee is represented and able to equally contribute to a meeting,” says Wargo. “For example, there is an equity issue in that not everybody’s home environment provides a good working space. They may not be able to access the best broadband or might sit at their kitchen table. A truly equitable experience removes the socioeconomic differences that might occur from a forced remote environment. A similar thing happened with schools being unable to achieve equitable remote education. Some employees will have to go to the office to work at their best.” Wargo argues that collaboration technology like Teams and AI-powered tools will create a pull back to the office. “There will come a time where the office is the better place to do your work,” he says. “A home was not built to facilitate all the work that’s required of us. Offices are changing to the hybrid meeting needs of their employees, investing in the technology that creates their ideal office spaces.” “ There will come a time where the office is the better place to do your work” Photo composite: Unsplash/Surface and Microsoft