Google Meet promises no more grim faces

Google has announced a series of new features for Google Meet, including an option that automatically brightens faces in video meetings.

Several new features are designed to make you look better. Automatic light adjustment – already enabled in the Google Meet mobile app – is now coming to the web app. This means that if your face appears unexposed, perhaps because you are sitting in front of a bright window, the software will automatically increase the brightness of your face so that others can see you more clearly.

Google is also introducing an auto-zoom feature, which will zoom in and put you in the center of the frame if you’re not already there. Since most webcams don’t have an optical zoom, this will be a software feature – and paying subscribers will only be available “in the coming months”.

For those who hate their own wallpapers or those who don’t want annoying colleagues peeking into their house in the background, Google is amplifying its fake background library with the ability to insert video wallpapers. There will be three options available – classroom, entertainment and forest – and Google promises to have more on the way.

More inclusive interface

Google also customizes the way you view your colleagues. Multiple pinning is now an option that allows you to expand the feed to more than one participant on the screen, leaving the rest as thumbnails. With hybrid work environments likely to become commonplace, this could make it easier to see a group sitting around a table in a meeting room, as well as a current speaker, for example.

Google also hopes to give people exhibiting confidence, allowing them to reduce the size of the presenter tile to just a thumbnail. This, Google says, will “increase the trust of the presenter” by “allowing you to see more people on call and better evaluate reactions.” Viewer reactions may not be something you would want to see in the ninth video meeting of the day, mind you …

If you are completely nauseous from looking at your face, you can even hide your cup completely on your screen.

All new features should be introduced today, unless I said otherwise above.


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