Back in March Google announced that it would be rolling out a Google Meet feature that lets you activate the hand raise feature by raising your actual hand. Now the new AI-powered feature is here, giving you the ability to draw attention to yourself without ever touching your mouse.
The feature itself is really self-explanatory. All you have to do is raise your hand within view of the camera and away from your body and face. That way you don’t trigger it accidentally because you had an itchy nose. It’s also disabled for active speakers, to avoid accidentally setting off the feature by gesticulating a little too wildly.
Once Google Meet detects this gesture, a loading icon will pop up on your screen, and after a few seconds the hand raise feature will trigger.
From there things proceed exactly as they would if you’d clicked the hand-raise button at the bottom of the screen. Your video feed gets added to the grid, and the call moderators are made aware that you have something to say. It’s a bit like being in school again, but without being forced to learn long division and read Shakespeare.
If you generally sit at your computer and have access to the normal hand-raise button, this feature will be quite limited. However, if you aren’t near your machine, or are in a teleconferencing room with a bunch of other people, this does make it easier to raise attention to yourself.
The new hand raise gesture is rolling out to Google Meet Workspaces right now, but is switched off by default. So be sure to head into the settings and switch it on. Otherwise you’ll have to do things the old-fashioned way.
Still, if Google Meet can use AI to recognize this gesture, there’s always a chance it can be made to recognize others. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll be able to mute our microphones with a shush hand signal?
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Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.