In light of the wholly unprecedented changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Google employees have been hard at work improving the Google Meet app for use in the classroom, workplace, and beyond.
Here are some of the new features being added this year.
- Realistic Hand-raising
Participants can now raise two hands to indicate urgency.
However, after a little while, the hands will get tired and un-raise themselves.
- Improved Accessibility
Closed captions now have text to speech option for those with impaired vision. A braille option will also be coming soon.
- Staring Deterrence
Eye-tracking software detects if you are looking at yourself too much and will notify a therapist.
The software will also detect if someone watches another person for too long and notify the police.
- New “Laugh” Button
So you can see how much the muted people didn’t laugh at your joke.
- Gaffe Detection
The AGD (Automatic Gaffe Detection) system automatically records epic failures of the social kind and uploads them to YouTube.
New identities will be offered to anyone featured in a video who wishes to try again.
- Attire Check
Chromebook laptops will now ship with a biometric pants detector, to verify that meeting participants are properly dressed, and notify users’ mothers if they are not.
Non-chromebook users will have to confirm their pants-wearing by mail.
- Helpful Questions
Similarly to the “Are you talking?” function, Google Meet will now ask participants: “Are you visible?” when their camera is off.
Some up and coming additional questions are “How are you?”, “Have you walked your dog today?”, “How about that election, eh?”, and “Are you doing anything this weekend?”
These changes are expected to roll out in Canada as soon as the Ethics Commissioner approves them.
Featured photo was taken by Daniel Y.
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