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Microsoft Issues Patent for Smart Tech that Scores Meetings

Since the start of effective lockdown following the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year, I have had to become a lot more familiar with online conference calls and meetings than I ever really wanted to. It’s not that I dislike the technology in principle. It just seems harder to maintain an ‘I’m interested’ face and posture while sitting at your PC. Particularly when I’m at home surrounding by my various creature comforts including 30 gaming shortcuts teasing me in the corner of my desktop.

It seems, however, that with the explosion seen in the usage of Microsoft Teams, the technology powerhouse is now looking at the creation of hardware and tools that can provide users and businesses with actual feedback on how meetings and conference calls really went.

Microsoft Issues Meeting ‘Scoring’ Patent Design

The technology, known as ‘Microsoft Productivity Score’ would intend to use a combination of cameras and sensors to specifically look to identify just how ‘successful’ a meeting or conference call had actually been. This would be judged on a number of factors including body language, verbal communication, eye-movement, and (in a nutshell), just how much people are (or were) actually paying attention.

While this might sound rather like a potentially rather disturbing means of ‘monitoring’ staff, the key focus of the technology is to allow companies to actively know just how ‘productive’ a meeting had actually been and, from that, determine whether some changes (for example, moving an afternoon to a morning) could lead to better results and more attentive reactions.

What Do We Think?

It’s certainly interesting and, for businesses particularly, could open a lot of interesting possibilities. Personally, although this is not mentioned on the official news page (which you can check out here), part of me would be curious to see if Microsoft didn’t look to push this technology for use in job interviews. The technological feedback, for example, may reveal more than your own impressions gave you, and more so, if you are the offending article who perhaps allowed themselves to get briefly distracted, it may even potentially help you to identify those moments.

As above, it’s interesting, but I’m not entirely convinced that this is a concept that is going to be widely praised or wanted by everyone.

What do you think? – Let us know in the comments!

Mike Sanders

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