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Microsoft Teams makes ‘Walkie Talkie feature’ available to all users

The app offers easy connectivity to frontline workers with 'push to talk' feature.

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Mumbai: Microsoft Teams has made its Walkie Talkie feature launched in 2020 for frontline workers available to all its users.

The ‘push to talk’ feature was introduced in 2020 as a way for frontline workers to communicate easily on-field when the pandemic rate was at its peak. “As the frontline faces continuous constraints from labor shortages and supply chain disruptions, they want technology that saves them time, helps them communicate more seamlessly, and maximises their efficiency when completing repetitive tasks,” the company stated.

Walkie Talkie is now also available on all iOS mobile devices such as iPhones and iPads, in addition to Android mobile devices. It is a push-to-talk (PTT) communication feature that allows users to connect with their group members through a respective channel. No one else can interact with the people inside the channel unless they are given permission to do so. The company teamed up with Zebra mobile devices to implement the digital Walkie Talkie functionality.

According to Microsoft, the app replaces the need for carrying bulky radios and offers a secure line of communication through Wi-Fi or cellular internet connectivity. The three mobile devices: rugged TC-series, customer-facing EC-series, and the scanning device MC-series will now include the Microsoft Teams’ push-to-talk features. All of them come with a dedicated, built-in button on the side emulating a radio walkie-talkie, that one needs to hold onto while speaking. The voice gets recorded, and then sent to the recipient.

“With this partnership, we’re excited to be able to provide frontline workers with the ability to use these devices to seamlessly communicate, collaborate, and stay productive in any conditions,” said Zebra Technologies CEO Anders Gustafsson in a blog post.

Currently, the feature is not pre-installed. To enable WalkieTalkie for use in Teams, organisations will have to add it to the ‘App Setup Policy’ through the admin centre. Once turned on, the feature becomes available on the app within the next 48 hour.

According to Microsoft, the pandemic drove a 400 percent increase in Microsoft Teams usage among frontline workers from March 2020 to November 2021.

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