“If you think about the core identity of the product, the capabilities we’re going to build, they’re going to be around making sure that we actually level the playing field and become much more inclusive,” Jeetu Patel, Cisco’s senior vice president of security and applications, said on a call with analysts and reporters Tuesday. “Some of the capabilities that we’re going to talk about today, no one else has … our focus on productivity and well being will be a big one.”
Patel added that the company has poured around $1 billion over the past several years into developing AI capabilities, and the fruits of that investment now are “starting to come out in a big way.”
Here are a few of the new Webex features Cisco introduced Tuesday:
- Noise cancellation: The app will automatically “detect and suppress” common noises such as rustling papers and loud typing.
- Transcription: Webex will generate searchable transcripts of calls, making it easy to catch up if you’ve missed a meeting. It’s also adding closed captioning, which will will it easier for hearing impaired people to participate in virtual meetings.
- In-meeting gestures: Coming next year, meeting participants will be able to make a “thumbs up” with their hand and Webex’s AI will translate that motion into a thumbs up icon on the screen for everyone to see (helpful for people who have a hard time finding the buttons on the app).
- Real-time translation: Starting in February, you can listen in on a meeting where the speaker is using a different language and get real-time transcription. Each meeting participant can choose which language they want. The feature will be available in English, Spanish, French, German, Mandarin, Portuguese, Arabic, Russian, Dutch and Japanese.
- Meeting templates: Using the roundtable meeting template, for example, every participant will have the opportunity to speak once before anyone speaks twice. This feature is also coming soon.