Whether or not it’s the answer we want, Microsoft has one for Zoom fatigue

Let’s be real — most of us don’t like having our camera on for virtual meetings. Who isn’t just waiting for that one brave soul to turn theirs off so everyone can follow suit without feeling guilty?

Video fatigue — often called Zoom fatigue — is partly attributed to the idea that most of us aren’t built to stare at faces, including our own, for hours on end. Research shows this feeling is exacerbated by having your camera turned on.

Zoom rival Microsoft knows this, but it also knows that a blank screen isn’t exactly a great option, either.

Drumroll, please…

Introducing Avatars for Microsoft Teams! (*Cue cricket sounds*)

Among the features introduced yesterday, Teams will launch a feature that lets users create 3D avatars — customizable and reactive characters that animate based on your voice — to use in meetings in place of being on camera.

Whether you woke up with a horrific hairdo, or just need a camera break, you can probably imagine the use cases here.

Will any of Teams’ 280m users choose to go this route and deliver quarterly results while looking like a slightly advanced Nintendo Wii character, we wonder? Time will tell.

BTW: Yesterday, Microsoft also announced that Teams has been redesigned with a sleek new interface, and updated to be 2x as fast and use half as much memory.

The company also recently debuted premium features powered by OpenAI… As did Slack, earlier this month… As did Zoom, just yesterday.

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