Google has announced a series of new features for Google Meet, including an option that automatically brightens faces in video meetings.
Several of the new features are designed to make you look better. Automatic light adjustment – which is already enabled in the Google Meet mobile app – is now coming to the web app. That means if your face appears underexposed, perhaps because you’re sitting in front of a bright window, the software will automatically boost the brightness on your face so others can see you more clearly.
Google is also introducing an autozoom feature, which will zoom in and put you in the center of the frame if you’re not already there. Given that most webcams don’t have an optical zoom, that will be a software feature – and it will only be available to paying subscribers “in the coming months”.
For those who hate their own wallpaper or who don’t want nosey colleagues peering at their house in the background, Google is boosting its fake backdrops library with the option to insert a video background. There will be three options at launch – a classroom, a party and a forest – with Google promising more are on the way.
More inclusive interface
Google is also tweaking the way you can view colleagues. Multi-pinning is now an option, allowing you to expand the feed of more than one participant on screen, while leaving the rest as thumbnails. With hybrid work environments likely to become more commonplace, this could make it easier to see a group sitting around a meeting-room table, as well as the current speaker, for example.
Google is also hoping to provide a confidence boost for people who are presenting by allowing them to reduce the size of the presenter’s tile to just a thumbnail. This will, says Google, “boost presenter confidence” by “allowing you to see more people on the call and better gauge reactions”. Viewer reactions might not be something you want to see on the ninth video meeting of the day, mind…
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If you’re completely sick of the sight of your own face, you can even hide your mug from view entirely on your own screen.
All of the new features should start rolling out today, unless I stated otherwise above.