Microsoft is working on a new Teams feature that will help meeting hosts control which attendees are able to appear on camera.
As per two new entries in the company’s product roadmap, Teams will soon offer the ability to disable video for specific users, both prior to and during video meetings.
The addition could prove particularly useful in the context of online learning, preventing disruptive students from using video as a means of distracting others, or in scenarios in which only one participant is required to present.
Handforth Parish Council video meeting
With many people entirely new to remote working when the pandemic first took hold, understanding of video meeting etiquette was mixed and proper protocol ill-defined. Now almost a year since lockdowns were first implemented, the vendors themselves are stepping in with assistive tools to help ensure meetings run smoothly.
The attendees repeatedly interrupted and shouted at the arbitrator, Jackie Weaver, and used the video feed to make threatening gestures and demonstrate their disdain for proceedings. “You have no authority here,” the council chairman told Weaver, before being swiftly ejected from the call.
Whether Weaver had the authority to evict the council chairman or not remains unclear, but the new Teams features will add another tool to her crowd management arsenal. Combined with the ability to mute the microphone of specific attendees, the new video management features will allow hosts to prevent disruptions, while still allowing all attendees to listen in.