Microsoft recently introduced a new feature called “Microsoft Teams Avatars” to enhance user engagement and enjoyment on its popular platform for remote work and video conferencing. The feature allows users to customize their profile pictures with fun and cartoonish avatars. Microsoft will start rolling out this feature from May of 2023 to its userbase.
Users can choose the avatar’s skin color, hair color, facial hair, and clothing, as well as set their backgrounds to match their personality or work environment. This feature will be available across all Microsoft Teams platforms, including desktop, web, and mobile, in the coming weeks.
In addition to providing a personal touch to online communication, Microsoft Teams Avatars can also be an excellent alternative for those who do not want to appear on camera during meetings or need a break from constant video calls. The 3D avatars will animate based on the user’s vocal cues alone, which eliminates the need for a camera.
Moreover, the avatars make it easier to identify the speaker during meetings or conference calls, providing a more personalized touch to the conversation. The customizable options enable users to create avatars that reflect their sense of humor or personality, making the meetings more enjoyable and engaging. You can watch a summary of the features in this YouTube Video.
In my opinion, photos or switching on the camera is a better way of making meetings more effective. Visual cues are crucial in communication, and being able to see the person you are communicating with can enhance understanding and connection. Nonverbal cues such as facial expressions and body language can also provide important context that may be lost in text-based communication.
Additionally, seeing the person you are communicating with can help build trust and establish a more personal connection. While there may be exceptions, such as when internet connectivity is poor or when privacy concerns are involved, I believe that using photos or switching on the camera should be the default in online meetings.
Overall, the release of Microsoft Teams Avatars is a highly anticipated feature that is expected to be a hit among users. The avatars offer a way for individuals to express themselves and engage with others in a virtual setting while providing a fun and personalized touch to online communication. As remote work continues to become increasingly popular, features such as Microsoft Teams Avatars will become essential for businesses and individuals alike.