Microsoft redesigning the meeting room of tomorrow

Microsoft has revealed high-tech meeting room hardware and software that not only identifies everybody present, but also provides a real-time record of what they said.

The company showed off the prototype of the cone-shaped device at a conference in Seattle.

It uses AI-powered facial recognition and cameras to identify everyone present. Once everybody has arrived, Cortana asks if they want to commence the meeting. Using microphones, voice recognition technology and face recognition, it identifies who is talking and then automatically notes every word he or she says.

The system works even if those present talk over each other or interrupt one another.

Should a speaker refer to a document, Cortana locates that document in the firm’s document store – and shows it on a screen.

And when it’s time to plan the next meeting, it checks everyone’s calendars to find the perfect time.

No price or official launch date has been announced.

The technology was developed to highlight Microsoft’s cloud-based Artificial Intelligence services available via Azure.

According to Satya Nadella, Microsoft chief executive, the Azure Artificial Intelligence services – which can be plugged into other applications so developers don’t have to design their own object-recognition, speech-recognition and AI technologies – will one day get AI “into the hands of every developer and organization.”

Microsoft claims that Azure’s voice recognition now surpasses human speech recognition abilities and its object recognition service is on the same level as that of the average human.

The system is not yet perfect though. At the meeting, it made a couple of blunders that Microsoft will no doubt address in future.