Google is introducing a new feature in its videoconferencing service Google Meet that enables users to turn their camera on and share their video feed with all participants when in the platform’s Companion mode.
According to a Google Workspace blog, this is designed to allow in-room participants attending a hybrid meeting to improve collaboration and representation equity by giving everyone the ability to share their own video with other on-call participants.
The feature will be enabled by default, and users can join a meeting on the web using Companion mode from the green room before their meeting.
The company started its rollout this week, with users in the company’s rapid release channel getting access starting this week. Other domains will start seeing the new feature starting on May 17.
The feature is available to all Workspace customers as well as legacy G Suite Basic and Business customers. It won’t require any admin controls.
Companion mode allows users to connect to a Google Meet video call on a second screen, which gives in-room users the ability to participate in activities or share their screen without worrying about echo for remote participants. The feature was introduced last year.
Users who join using Companion mode will have their microphone muted to reduce the risk of audio feedback from the second screen. It is designed for conference rooms with audio and video capabilities on meeting room hardware, or a Google Nest Hub Max.
Users can also use Companion mode to view presentations or captions more clearly. Users who want to speak, view the participant grid will have to join with full audio and video on another non-Companion mode screen.
Read this helpful support article from Google for more information about Companion mode.