An extension to request the word on Google Meet by raising your hand, literally

If to make video calls you use Google Meet, especially if your meetings are with groups of several people, this extension can bring a more natural dynamics to the interventions.

Following in the footsteps of other video conferencing platforms, Meet implemented the option of raise your hand, through which you can request a turn to speak without interrupting whoever has the floor at the time. The traditional way to activate this function is through a button dedicated to that. Now, with the help of Raise Hand To Raise Hand, this option can be operated by literally raising your hand in front of the camera.

Raise your hand, to raise your hand

The title with which they baptized this extension summarizes its objective and operation. Available for Chrome and supported by most Chromium-based browsers (Edge, Brave and others), this extension is responsible for real-time tracking of your movements in front of the camera during a video conference session on Meet, thanks to the use of an artificial intelligence algorithm. If you raise your hand, you will activate or deactivate the option that the platform has to notify your interlocutors with a visual sign that you are requesting the floor.

There are two modes of use for this tool: a school mode, which keeps the request mark for speaking turns active while your hand remains raised; and a meeting mode, which just briefly raising your hand activates the turn request mark, requiring you to do it again if you want to deactivate it.

The extension, once installed, is enabled by default and automatically optimized to minimize the impact on your computer’s performance and battery life. Within the Meet interface, a small hand-shaped icon will appear in the upper right corner, from which you can access the Rise Hand To Rise Hand settings.

At the privacy level, this extension claims not to collect or transmit personal data of any kind. Without going too far, all the recognition work behind it is done locally on the computer and that is one of the reasons why you may experience a certain slowdown in entering a video call, since this entire system begins your upload process together with Meet. Despite the initial impact, this should not compromise performance during a video call. Its developers promised to fix this in a future update.

Another difficulty could arise when using this extension on some Mac computers. Those that have the M1 chip, either MacBooks or Mac Mini, are not currently supported, due to compatibility problems with Tensorflow, an open source library for automatic learning. , used at the base of this tool.

With the use of this extension, which at a quick glance might seem trivial, part of the essence of face-to-face communications can be rescued, by allowing a group talk to be approached more naturally, maintaining those expressions that we have so culturally ingrained without replacing them with an app button.

Rise Hand To Rise Hand is an open source extension, available in GitHub and in the Chrome Web Store.

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