Unlocking the Future of Meetings with Mark Ewing, Google’s Product Management Director

Unlocking the Future of Meetings with Mark Ewing, Google's Product Management Director

On this episode of Futurum Live! From ISE 2024, The Futurum Group’s Craig Durr talks with Mark Ewing, Product Management Director at Google Workspace, focusing on the innovative strides Google is making with Duet AI and Meet Hardware to revolutionize video conferencing and collaboration solutions.

Their discussion covers:

  • The transformative impact of Duet AI on meeting experiences, streamlining note-taking, and breaking down language barriers.
  • The integration of AI in conference rooms through Meet Hardware, ensuring inclusivity and effectiveness regardless of the meeting location.
  • The introduction of dynamic layouts and tiles in Google Meet, creating visually appealing and contextually aware meeting views.
  • Expansion strategies of Google Workspace, highlighting new partnerships and product introductions, like Google Meet on Logitech Android appliances and collaborations with whiteboard providers.

You can view the video of their conversation here, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel while you’re there.

Listen to the audio below:

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Craig Durr: Hey, everybody. This is Craig Durr, Practice Lead for Workplace Collaboration for The Futurum Group. And we are here live at ISE 2024. This is the premier show for Pro AV and system integrators in Europe, and frankly, I think the world. And I’m excited to bring a guest to you here today from Google Workspace, Mark Ewing, who’s the Director of Product Management for Google Meet and Voice is going to here, tell us a little bit more about some of the innovations you guys are bringing to Market. Mark, how you doing?

Mark Ewing: Very good. Excited to be here. It’s nice to be here, see the new products, be able to show off some of our own.

Craig Durr: And now you guys are actually going to be talking a lot about at this show, what you’re doing in this space of AI, what you’re bringing to the meeting experience. One of those key things is around Duet AI, right?

Mark Ewing: Sure. And it’s important to note that AI is in Google’s DNA. We’ve been doing this for over 10 years. And for us at Workspace, we’re really focused on delivering secure Cloud native and delightful user experiences that are powered by AI. And with Duet AI, we’ve launched a suite of features that are powered by AI that cut across the entire workspace suite of products. It’ll help you write and draft emails and documents, help make your meetings more inclusive. And we also had a bunch of announcements at Google Cloud Next 2023 in the fall that we’re excited to demo a bit on the booth and we’re excited to bring to users this year.

Craig Durr: That’s great. Well, let’s break that down and let’s talk about this in two parts. The first thing I want to talk about is Duet AI and what you’re doing for the meeting experience.

Mark Ewing: Sure, absolutely. So we are doing a few things that we’re really excited about. So first, we’re really trying to take the friction out of meetings. So one of the biggest problems you have is how can I be present in meetings? So that’s hard to do when you’ve got to take notes and do all these other things. And we announced a feature called Take Notes For Me, which does just that, takes notes in meetings, takes AI, and can even catch you up on what’s happened in a meeting if you dial in late. It can send out video clips that summarize the meeting after the meeting. So it really allows you to be present in that meeting and saves you time. And we’re also announced Attend for Me, which can literally help you be in two places at once. Let’s say you’re double booked, you can send Google to that meeting for you.

Now we’re also excited about what generative AI can do for automatic live translations. And with our new feature suite that we’re rolling out there, it’s like you have a universal translator. If I’m in a meeting with customers, some are French speaking, some are Spanish speaking, and I speak English, we can do live translation back to my native language for both of these language at once, in real time on the meeting. And we’re doing it for over 300 language pairs. And then finally, we want to make sure you look your best, even if you don’t have Pro AV equipment like we do here today. So Studio Look and Studio Lighting are a couple that are worth highlighting. So Studio Look gives you that post-meeting touch up experience, but in real time, right in front of you from your laptop. And Studio Lighting, it’s like you’ve got a lighting experience that you control right at your laptop.

Craig Durr: That’s fantastic. I wish I could take that with me all the time, right? That’s right. But let’s actually talk a little bit more about this second idea too, as well. Now, hybrid meetings these days are the norm and we have to really think about inclusivity and making meetings effective. And you’re able to bring AI to that, to help with that experience, right?

Mark Ewing: Yes, we’re definitely focused on that and you hit the nail on the head. Hybrid meetings are now the new norm, but it’s still very much an unsolved problem. And we’re really seeing how AI can enhance that for us with a couple of features that we announced at Cloud Next, Dynamic Layouts, which is going to be our visual redesign of the meeting layouts experience on Google Meet, and Dynamic Tiles, which is really designed to get the best shot of people in the room and work in concert with Dynamic Layouts.

Craig Durr: Wow. So let’s double click on that a little bit. Let’s talk about Dynamic Layouts. Tell me more about that.

Mark Ewing: Dynamic Layouts is going to be, like I said, our visual redesign of the Google Meet layouts experience Now, because hybrid meetings have kind of taken over, you’ve got people dialing in from various places, in the office, from home, on vacation, who knows? But you need to get a good shot of everybody. And we’re kind of moving past this point where the flat grid of tiles style of layout is adequate for capturing everything that’s happening as the meeting is unfolding, new people coming into the meeting or leaving the meeting, new presenters, new content being presented. And then you add in the meeting room and hardware angle and you’ve got different pieces of hardware that are giving streams of video. And we are really taking all that into account and letting AI solve the problem of how do we surface that content, those people in the way that’s dynamic and the most helpful as possible.

Craig Durr: I love it. Now the next thing you also talked about was Dynamic Tile. Explain that one.

Mark Ewing: Sure. So it works with Dynamic Layouts because we think there’s a really tight interlock needed between the meeting layout and the video stream of content coming from the meeting room where you can’t always see everyone very well. Now, Dynamic Tiles is our own AI that can run on any of our hardware and it picks out the shots of individuals in rooms, pulls them into their own individual pinnable tile, just like they’re dialed in from their own laptop, but from the conference room, giving you the best shot without the need for new hardware.

Craig Durr: That’s fantastic. So if I understand this, they build upon each other. So where Dynamic Tile is giving you the best view of the individual in the room, Dynamic Layout is using an AI generated layout to give you the best meeting experience. Is that right?

Mark Ewing: That’s right.

Craig Durr: Now we also mentioned a little bit, we forgot to talk about this before, identity is on top of that as well too, right?

Mark Ewing: Yeah. And we think that’s kind of the third component for how you make the in-room experience and hybrid meetings really effective. So we announced Face Match, which will allow you to identify yourself or identify others as the individuals in rooms and name them on those individual Dynamic Tiles.

Craig Durr: So there’s Dynamic Tiles and get even more information. So we’ll know it’s Mark sitting in this tile, Craig in this tile, all working together with Dynamic Layout, right?

Mark Ewing: That’s right. The inclusive experience.

Craig Durr: This is great. Now you also have another area of information you’re bringing forward at this show, and this is how you’re expanding your presence in this domain through partnerships. You’ve got some key partnerships you want to talk about?

Mark Ewing: That’s right, yeah. Some new partnerships that I’m excited to talk about are our new whiteboarding partners. Now they’re names that, but we are bringing them in to be fully integrated into our all-in-one collaborative hardware. Our Board 65 and Desk 27 from Avacore. Now these partners are Lucid and Fig Jam and Miro. Now we announced these partnerships last year. We’re bringing them to deep integrations on the devices where customers can get the choice of, what is the whiteboarding solution that I want in my meeting? You can have the meeting, get good shots of people in the room, but also whiteboard on the software that you and your company are most familiar with. And so we’re really excited about bringing those to market this year.

And it’s also worth me noting, last year when we were on the show floor talking about this, we were talking about our first Android appliances with Poly coming to market, and we brought those to market in 2023, and we’re really excited about the growth on those. But this year I get to talk to you about Logitech. Only because we’ve been working on one with them and we just launched Rally Bar and Rally Bar Mini as Android standalone appliances for Google Meet.

Craig Durr: This is fantastic. And where can people go to learn more about this?

Mark Ewing: Well, two places. So you can go down to the booth, booth two and 800. Or you can go to the Google Workspace updates blog.

Craig Durr: That’s right. Google Workspace has a wonderful blog. It’s a great resource. I encourage you guys to go take a look at that as well too. All right, well, thank you.
Hey everyone, this has been Mark Ewing. Mark, I really appreciate your time.

Mark Ewing: Thanks so much.

Craig Durr: And this is Craig Durr coming to you live from the show floor in ISE 2024. Stay here for some more updates coming soon.

Author Information

As Practice Lead - Workplace Collaboration, Craig focuses on developing research, publications and insights that clarify how the workforce, the workplace, and the workflows enable group collaboration and communication. He provides research and analysis related to market sizing and forecasts, product and service evaluations, market trends, and end-user and buyer expectations. In addition to following the technology, Craig also studies the human elements of work - organizing his findings into the workforce, the workplace, and the workflows – and charting how these variables influence technologies and business strategies.

Prior to joining Wainhouse, now a part of The Futurum Group, Craig brings twenty years of experience in leadership roles related to P&L management, product development, strategic planning, and business development of security, SaaS, and unified communication offerings. Craig's experience includes positions at Poly, Dell, Microsoft, and IBM.

Craig holds a Master of Business Administration from the Texas McCombs School of Business as well as a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Tulane University.


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