Having recently expanded its range of immersive backgrounds for Google Meet calls, which add minute animated touches to backdrops such as an apartment and a cafe, Google now thinks it’s got something better.
The new “dynamic experiences” were announced (opens in new tab) in the Google Workspace Updates weekly recap for February 17, 2023, consisting of two new 360 degree backgrounds - a beach and a temple - using your phone’s gyroscope, and the power of artificial intelligence, to seamlessly move the background as you do.
The new additions are now available for use on video conferencing calls on Android and iOS devices for all Google Workspace and Personal accounts, although Google do point out that admins have the ability (and, let’s be honest, sworn duty) to turn off whimsical backgrounds at work (opens in new tab).
Analysis: Not this again
Let’s get it out of the way: The backgrounds are well done, in the sense that they’re high fidelity and the transitions in motion are seamless.
The issue is that they’re so obviously static images that they look even more devoid of personality than the already available “immersive backgrounds”, or, God forbid, the actual real world space you exist in.
TechRadar Pro covers this stuff a lot, and my take, at least, is always very reliable: please don’t force me to smile at template whimsy, as I would rather be renditioned.
You shouldn’t be this embarrassed about your office or bedroom backdrop unless you have a shrine to Harry Potter. We all know you’re not getting a tan on the beach, you’re cooped up in your semi-detached, wondering where it all went wrong, and if they’re coming back. It's fine, we're all here for you.
You have to think of the progress we’d make if tech companies took the developers working on this stuff and gave them something of literally any worth to Google Meet, or life itself, to get on with.
- Now a Google Workspace users? Here's the best Microsoft Teams backgrounds right now