Microsoft Hardware Partners Expand Teams Device Options

Microsoft recently described some devices that hardware partners have developed for the Microsoft Teams collaboration platform, which turned 3 years old this month.

Users of Teams can now use new "collaboration bar" devices in smaller conference rooms (for one to five people), which mount on top of a conference room screen. Here's how Microsoft described collaboration bar devices in an announcement:

This integrated [collaboration bar] device brings together microphones, speakers, a camera and a native Teams experience to deliver a solution that is easy to deploy and less to manage. These Android-based collaboration bars have fewer cables and can be mounted on a display within minutes. IT Admins can keep track of device inventory and remotely manage collaboration bars using the Teams Admin Center.

The Yealink VC210 collaboration bar is the first such product and is available today. Another partner is Poly, which designed a Poly Studio X Series of collaboration bar products. These Poly collaboration bar devices are expected to launch "later this spring."

Microsoft also announced Teams integration with RealWear's ruggedized helmets, which include cameras for remote field-work inspections. The helmets show video and sound for real time collaborations on problems. Teams on RealWear devices will be available "later this year."

Microsoft announced that the Bose Noise Cancelling headphone 700 UC product, which can be used with Teams, will be "available for purchase in late spring."

IT pros soon will get the ability in the Microsoft Teams Admin Center to manage these kinds of Teams devices, Microsoft promised.

"Today, administrators have the ability to manage certified Microsoft Teams phones from the Microsoft Teams admin center," the company said. "Coming soon, we will extend this support for Microsoft Teams room devices and collaboration bars. This will empower admins to perform key actions such as update settings, restart devices, gather logs, review device call quality data, and more."

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.