A large social crisis can lead to unexpected change. Often technology will evolve quickly in response to the crisis. So, what technology changes are we likely to see in 2021 and beyond?
Consider Video Conferencing, which has been around for decades. Adoption was growing steadily – until the recent crisis. Now, it seems every business meeting includes Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams.
Two other technologies that have been around for years and slowly gaining traction are Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Voice Control, the latter creeping into our homes through our mobile phones and Alexa. While these two innovative technologies have long intrigued IT teams, they are now receiving renewed attention as businesses look for ways to maintain a safe workplace and enable employees to return to the office.
Indeed, analysts like Frost & Sullivan recommend that IT leaders take a hard look at voice control, AI, IoT and other technologies, specifically for meetings. This opportunity to improve efficiency and safety represents the “next wave of disruptive innovation” in meeting experiences.
The Impact of AI on Meetings Will Be Far-Reaching
The benefits of AI for meeting room management will likely be felt across the business by leaders in HR, IT, Real Estate, and Facilities.
- Business leaders want to improve employee safety: If a room designed for 12 is now considered reasonably safe for a maximum of six people (at 50% occupancy), is that occupancy being maintained? If not, can facilities be notified so they can take action?
- Real estate teams want to ensure space is utilised efficiently: Which rooms are heavily used and which rooms are underutilised? Does the team need to create more huddle rooms or more large conference rooms? Are meeting rooms on certain floors always empty while those on other floors are never available?
- IT teams need to make sure meeting room devices are functioning: Which room solutions are in high demand? Which ones are not being used, and can they be reallocated to different meeting spaces? Are the software and firmware up to date, and are the devices online and functioning?
These are the kinds of questions that AI is able to answer as leaders in various functions strive to make meetings safer and more efficient. Logitech Sync now offers the ability to gather this kind of data and deliver it in the form of reports and dashboards. And this is just the beginning of what’s planned for Sync.
Using Voice for Meeting Planning and Management
It’s probably not surprising that voice control has captured the attention of analysts as well as IT and business leaders. Tens of millions of people use Amazon Echo, Google Nest, and other smart home devices to answer questions, operate lights and appliances, and generally save time and effort. In the business world, one can easily imagine voice response added to vending machines, elevators, lighting systems, and of course, meeting rooms.
Anticipating this trend, Logitech is working with partners like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft to offer hands-free meeting room experiences. With the power of voice command plus AI, employees will be able to quickly and easily start and manage meetings.
For example, with Logitech Room Solutions for Zoom Rooms with Alexa for Business, you can walk into a meeting room and announce, “Alexa, join my meeting.” Simple and fast – no pressing of buttons, no tapping of keypads.
Likewise, Logitech Solutions for Google Meet now include “Hey Google” voice controls so you can use your voice to join and leave video meetings, dial a phone number, and more.
Soon, we will also offer an integration with Cortana for Logitech Room Solutions for Microsoft Teams. This feature will allow meeting participants to use voice commands with Cortana in a similar fashion.
“Organisations that excelled through the last downturn continued to invest at least 5% to 7% of their IT spend toward innovation or transformation projects”
Change is inevitable, especially now. While the future is impossible to predict, we can be confident that technologies like AI and voice control will play an even greater role in the work environment going forward.
If you’d like some help to navigate these new challenges please let your VCIO know or contact our partner ON-AV direct www.on-av.com/