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In this guide, we explore how Microsoft is transforming standard conference rooms into Signature Microsoft Teams Rooms that give Teams Room users the best front-row experience possible. The guide provides room design, technology guidelines, installation practices, recommended products, and Microsoft Corporate reference specifications.
Microsoft’s vision for the future of Teams meeting rooms
In the near future work will be fluid, dynamic, and powered by the cloud. At any time, from anywhere, Microsoft enables meeting experiences that allow people to be present. As these are hybrid meetings, you can participate in them seamlessly no matter where you are located. With devices designed for Signature Teams Rooms, meetings are inclusive; everyone’s voice is heard, and everyone has a clear voice.
Microsoft sees a future in which immersive meeting spaces and environments are designed around those who use them. It is now possible for everyone, wherever they are, to connect face-to-face with each other. There is no better way to keep everyone connected to the content and to each other than with our dynamic meeting expereince: Formal presentations are blended with collaborative chat conversations. Creativity is unleashed when groups use digital canvas.
The vision for the future is based on a simple idea: meetings must offer more than one-time transactions to participants. Whether people are in a room or worldwide, meetings will be tailored to their needs.
What is a Signature Teams Room?
The needs of both remote and in-person participants drives room standards in Microsoft’s hybrid workplace. The Signature Teams Room is designed to provide an elevated hybrid meeting experience, fostering more natural and immersive connections while helping participants feel included, represented, and productive. Using software and hardware capabilities in conjunction with guidance on room configurations, Signature Teams Rooms make a set of principles a reality.
A Signature Teams Rooms is a concept developed around a set of experience principles, which are based on a set of important goals.
Goal 1: Everyone in the meeting feels included, represented, and productive.
Goal 2: Connections feel natural and immersive.
A Signature Teams Room experience is all those components and ideas put together with no single feature defining the experience. The individual characteristics and concepts found in Signature Teams Rooms may also be deployed independently.
Examples of specific feature deployment:
When should you deploy a Signature Teams room?
Signature Teams Rooms are not intended as a replacement for all other meeting spaces in your organization, but rather as a complement to existing meeting spaces utilizing Microsoft Teams Rooms. You should deploy them strategically within your organization at locations and spaces where high-touch face-to-face interaction is most valuable.
Microsoft Teams Rooms will continue providing people-centric hybrid meeting experiences through new technology and continuing software updates. It is essential, however, to follow room configuration guidelines and implement hardware technologies to optimize Signature Teams Room experiences. There are several components of a Signature Teams Room, but their combination creates the complete Signature Teams Room. There are several factors to consider when determining how many Microsoft Teams Rooms you would like to evolve into Signature Teams Rooms, including:
Understanding the Signature Teams Room space
Balancing hybrid flexibility with inclusion:
Flexible work guidelines at Microsoft headquarters prioritize employees’ choice and flexibility about where and when they work. Microsoft has rethought the evolution of our meeting spaces and technology because of this fundamental shift in policy.
In research studies, remote meetings during the pandemic have been shown to have many benefits, including increased feelings of equity and inclusion. As we consider returning to a hybrid workspace setting, where remote and in-person collaboration happens simultaneously, Microsoft created meeting spaces that better support flexible work policies while maintaining a level playing field for all participants through room design and technology.
What is this space used for?
For small groups and medium-sized groups, this signature space provides the most immersive experience for working together as a team.
Signature, Microsoft Teams Rooms provide a unique environment where meeting participants can meet remotely and locally, presenting and co-creating content easily, just like in the typical Microsoft Teams Room.
How is a Signature Teams Room space laid out?
The key to making the room so effective is its configuration that allows remote participants and content to be seen and engaged in the best way possible.
During the presentation, all chairs in the layout are aligned with the display, enabling remote participants to see what is going on. The curved table also facilitates eye contact and assists in-person participants in orienting themselves.
How does the audio work?
Using Microsoft Signature Teams Rooms certified audio solutions, people can hear and be heard clearly. Auto-tracking microphones enhance the conversation and reinforce real time participation no matter the location in the Signature Microsoft Teams Room.
In the future, Signature Teams Rooms will support audio systems that utilize spatial audio. With spatial audio, sound emanates from the direction of the person speaking. For example, if a person on the right side of the meeting gallery says, the audio will come from the speaker closest to that location. This immersive audio experience helps meetings more closely resemble an in-person conversation.
How does the camera work?
An ultra wide-angle HD camera is recommended for this space. It is positioned at the front of the room below the displays to capture everyone in the area.
The ultrawide-angle camera features intelligent tracking of meeting participants so they can be represented individually in a large view instead of as faces within a large image of the entire room.
How do you engage with front-of-room displays?
This Signature room is optimized for the Microsoft Teams Rooms layout called front row and is displayed through a specialized short-throw high-resolution projector or ultrawide display. This allows the participants to be near the screen enabling better communication and engagement. This creates an immersive front-of-room experience explicitly designed for Signature Teams Room meetings.
What is Microsoft Front Row?
A new content layout, called front row, was introduced for Microsoft Teams Rooms to enhance the sense of connectedness between participants and support collaboration. This layout allows participants to see remote colleagues face-to-face across a horizontal plane as if they were in the same room. As a result of this new layout, the video gallery has been moved to the bottom of the screen, and its ratio has been fixed to keep the faces as large as possible.
A meeting’s content is surrounded by contextual, fluid elements, such as the agenda, tasks, and notes, which can be updated in real-time, allowing participants to remain engaged and collaborative. These contents are displayed on wide-aspect-ratio screens in Signature Teams Rooms to maximize meeting content size and participant capacity. Furthermore, the meeting chat is visible when joining a meeting from a Signature Teams Room so that you can participate in the conversation in real time.
A single- or dual-display configuration can be used with this layout. Even though the front row is particularly effective in Signature Teams Rooms, it can be used in any Windows Teams Room regardless of hardware configuration or furniture layout.
How do you co-create content?
With Signature Microsoft Teams Rooms, users can capture traditional analog whiteboards using the intelligent capture feature to get the best of both worlds. Microsoft Whiteboard can be accessed using a touchscreen monitor in the front of the room, mobile devices like a PC, smartphone, or tablet, and the Microsoft Surface Hub to provide a more modern experience for participants where they can draw and ink together.
Signature Teams Room design guidance
This section describes the requirements to design and build a Signature Microsoft Teams room from the ground up.
Signature Teams Room layout and design
optimal Room size standards
Room size: LARGE
25 ft x 14 ft
This Signature Teams Room is optimized for between 6 – 8 people.
This large room features a curved table with participants seated on one side, allowing in-room participants to retain visibility of each other and be positioned face-to-face with remote participants.
This room features a standard meeting room table with a 30 in or 76 cm height.
Room size: SMALL
18 ft x 12 ft
This small Signature Teams Room is optimized for between 4 – 6 people.
This room features a curved table against the room’s long wall with participants facing the display, allowing in-room participants to retain visibility of each other and be positioned face to face with remote participants.
This room features a standard meeting room table with a 30 in or 76 cm height.
The hardware location is typically determined by the Teams Room-certified hardware used within the meeting space.
For the initial deployments of Signature Teams Rooms within Microsoft facilities, they have chosen to mount the Microsoft Teams Rooms compute and touch console at the table with a built-in camera and soundbar (equipped with discrete left- and right-channel audio for spatial audio) mounted on specialized furniture located below the displayed image, as well as between the front-of-room projection and the table. High-resolution short-throw projectors or ultrawide displays are used for the display. Participants should be able to access the touchscreen console without restricting their ability to use the table for personal devices or documents.
This meeting room allows participants to share content via personal devices by joining the Teams meeting. Local video presentations should also be provided at the table in an easy-to-access manner for those who cannot join the conference call.
Touch screen placement
The Signature Microsoft Teams Rooms touch screen should be located in the center of the table within easy reach of meeting participants without blocking usage of the table for personal devices or documents.
Local video presentation
Though many participants may choose to share content within this type of meeting room by joining the Teams meeting via a personal device, the Teams call in-room local video presentation should also be made available at the table in an easily accessible manner.
Contact us for expert guidance.
Signature Teams Room Infrastructure requirements
At a minimum, electrical power connections should be provided at the table (for end users), behind the display, and at the equipment mounting location. If co-create devices are used in the space, electrical power connections may also be required at their location.
Networking connections should be provided at the table (for end users), a display, and the equipment mounting location (for the main network for the Teams Rooms solution). If co-create devices are used in the space, network connections will also be required to connect to the main network for the Teams Rooms solution.
Acoustic wall treatments
At least two walls in a room of this room type should be acoustically treated to prevent echo and ambient noise issues during meetings. The best acceptable room sound levels are between 25-35 dB.
Light from windows in a room of this type may negatively affect the lighting and introduce glare and shadows to both the camera image and the front-of-room display. Any space featuring windows should also feature window treatments allowing external light to be blocked during meetings.
To prevent echo and ambient noise issues during meetings, the floor in a room of this type should be cushioned, carpeted, or otherwise treated so that it can be acoustically efficient.
An overhead lighting system with dimming capability should be provided to illuminate the space evenly, with meeting room participants not appearing to be washed out or sitting in a dark area. Efforts to minimize direct lighting on front-of-room displays, co-create devices, or other reflective surfaces within the space should be taken to avoid introducing glare.
Signature Microsoft Teams Room Technology Guidance
Signature Microsoft Teams Rooms solutions
Signature Teams Rooms require the use of Microsoft Teams Rooms on Microsoft Windows.
A room of this type requires the use of an intelligent, ultrawide-angle front-of-room HD camera that is appropriately rated for the width and depth of space.
The HD camera should be placed at the front of the room below the front-of-room projection but above the top of the table to capture all the meeting room participants at as close to eye level as possible.
Certified front-of-room microphone arrays, tabletop, and overhead microphones will work for this type of space.
Microphone arrays must be positioned to provide coverage for all meeting room participants within the certified range of the device.
Front-of-room speaker arrays and overhead speakers will work best for this type of space.
Note: Spatial audio is not yet certified and may require specific audio devices.
Speakers must be positioned to provide coverage for all meeting room participants within the certified range of the device or devices used.
A room of this type requires the use of an ultrawide aspect ratio, high-resolution front-of-room display that is appropriately sized for the width and depth of space to ensure maximum visibility and clarity.
Example display types include:
Signature Teams Rooms, as with all other Microsoft Teams Rooms solutions, require the use of displays that can accommodate the following features for proper operation:
A Signature Teams Room requires that the display is placed in front of all the in-room meeting participants directly opposite the table.
The horizontal center line of the display must be centered on the same center line as the table.
The vertical center line of the display must be no more than +/- 15 degrees offset from the eye line of a typical in-room meeting participant seated at the table.
A Signature Teams Room requires that the display is either a single wide-aspect ratio display or a blended combination of shows that can achieve the effect of being a single display when seen by in-room meeting participants.
All Teams Rooms can use Microsoft Whiteboard through an interactive collaboration device such as a Microsoft Surface Hub, a touchscreen side-of-room display, and companion devices like a PC, phone, or tablet.
All Teams Rooms on Windows can leverage traditional whiteboards in Teams meetings using the intelligent capture feature and a secondary content camera.
Signature Teams Room recommended products
Microsoft Teams Room touch console and computer
Speakers & Audio Systems
A 21:9 Ultrawide 5K display, short-throw or ultra-short throw laser projector with high resolution and high brightness, automatic wake on sync, and cool down during sleep function. A low-gain projector screen with ambient light-rejecting properties will provide the best picture quality in bright rooms.
For the ideal scenario, other display options (alternate projectors, LED walls, and flat panel displays) should be able to create a table-spanning image, support a 4k image, and have a 21:9 aspect ratio.
Interactive touch devices:
Microsoft Surface Hub 2S
Stand for Signature Teams Rooms | Heckler (hecklerdesign.com)
Ocular Table by Steelcase
Learn More about Microsoft Teams Rooms
The Signature Teams Room Installation Process
The design and installation process is critical to building a Signature Teams Room. It includes installing specific equipment, such as HD video cameras, an audio system, projectors, or ultrawide displays. This is the overview of the installation process, including site preparation, equipment installation, and testing.
Firstly, design the room & install proper infrastructure, including electrical & data. Next, video cameras must be installed to provide high-quality video conferencing capabilities. This will require careful placement and calibration to ensure all participants are visible and at the optimal camera angle.
Secondly, an audio system will be installed to provide clear and high-quality sound. This will involve selecting the appropriate microphones, speakers, and sound systems to ensure everyone can be heard clearly.
Next, the ultrawide display will be installed to provide an immersive and collaborative meeting experience. These displays must be appropriately mounted and calibrated to provide clear and accurate visuals. Throughout the installation process, it is crucial to work with a certified Microsoft partner who can provide expert guidance and ensure that the installation process meets all of the organization’s needs.
Perform the installation of the furniture in the Teams Room and proceed with the completion of the acoustic wall treatment.
The Deployment Support includes a planning meeting, installation and configuration, and 1/2 day of remote configuration support. Testing and room commissioning were performed onsite as part of the installation.
By following a well-planned installation process, organizations can ensure that their new Signature Teams Room runs smoothly, providing a productive meeting experience for all participants. Contact Creation Networks Today! email@example.com