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Closer together in Tokyo: How Microsoft Teams created a shared virtual experience

This year we have seen into each other’s homes, with surprise guest appearances from our kids and pets. We have learned about each other, how we can work effectively from home or from anywhere, and what we can achieve when we come together with purpose and empathy. Technology has been our enabler, bringing us closer together through a shared experience. In this era of flexibility, we’ll be embracing all the ways we get together, no matter where we are. And what an opportunity that offers the world.

When it comes to family time, I’m a planner, and sometimes that means blocking vacations many months in advance. For big trips, sometimes years in advance. We’ve all dealt with our fair share of travel delays, but the stakes are higher when it’s an event that can’t be moved. So when the world had plans to visit Tokyo but could no longer get there,1 we wanted to make sure that people could still see and experience the city no matter where they were. We brought together would-be travelers with locals, capturing it all so even more people could get a glimpse into Tokyo too. Let’s take a closer look at how Microsoft Teams enabled people to connect across cultures for an unforgettable experience.

Microsoft Teams enables people to see and experience Tokyo

When we realized that people were missing out on their trip of a lifetime, we wanted to give them a chance to still experience Tokyo and maybe see something they otherwise wouldn’t have. Microsoft Teams connected five passionate Tokyo locals with people whose trips to Tokyo this summer were canceled. These would-be travelers got an insider’s view of Tokyo and Japanese culture as their local hosts took them to their favorite spots around the city. They also took them on unique-to-Tokyo adventures from cat-themed cafes, down hidden alleys to eat, shopping in the trendiest fashion districts, through art installations, and into other hidden gems that make Tokyo unlike any other city in the world. 

This was truly a unique and incredible experience that brought the hosts and their visitors closer together. Their virtual adventures were enhanced by many of the amazing features that enable deeper connection and collaboration, along with a whole lot of fun in Microsoft Teams. Hosts could easily walk out of their homes, around the city, and into their favorite spots by transferring their live meetings from their laptops to their mobile phones. Everyone could comfortably speak in their native languages, both out loud and in chat with live translation ensuring that all could be understood. And right in the moment, reactions enabled each visitor to share their emotions as experiences unfolded before them without interrupting each other. 

Microsoft Teams brought people together, across cultures and languages, to see Tokyo from a new perspective, even though no one could get on that plane and make the trip. Watch the video to see where they went and be sure to read the full story to explore even further.  

Technology empowers us to do amazing things, together

Thinking about this experience and all the lessons we have learned as we shift to hybrid work, I am excited about all that is possible. The power of technology will continue to enable us to do amazing things together. We’re capable of being immersed into another city with our coworkers even when we can’t travel to be there in person. We can now collaborate around the world in new ways, even when we don’t speak the same language. We are able to dream bigger and bring new experiences to our customers even when we aren’t in the same room. We’re able to be more inclusive, ensuring that everyone is heard, even if they aren’t in the room. And most importantly we can build a future that works for everyone and allows us to achieve more together. 

I am constantly inspired by what everyone continues to do in Microsoft Teams, both on my own team and through the stories we hear from our customers, creating change to take into the future. We have everything from clever ways to put people in front of their content so they always feel like they’re in the room, tools that enable asynchronous and synchronous collaboration, and intelligent devices so everyone can see and hear more clearly from anywhere.

Learn more about our journey

Follow us on our journey to hear more about the new features and tools to enable even more possibilities for the future and be sure to check out what’s new in Microsoft Teams. Now really is our chance to reimagine the way work happens and support people, as well as organizations in Microsoft Teams.

Explore Microsoft Teams.


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