Otter adds new features to make meetings more useful

The company’s Otter Assistant can already find meeting invitations in your Google or Outlook calendar, automatically join meetings on platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, and transcribe them for you — even if you can’t attend the meetings yourself.

Now a new newsfeed-style view integrates calendar information right into Otter, so you can see your upcoming meetings, auto-join them in Otter, schedule the assistant to join you or go in your place, and find past meetings by date , which you can access Otter Notes. Also new is an AI-powered feature that generates an overview view of the notes, pulls out key topics and displays them in a panel with links to jump to the relevant section of the meeting recording.

[Photo: Otter]

“You can basically do all your meetings here,” said Sam Liang, Otter co-founder and CEO Fast companywhen he clicked on the transcript his tool generated in real-time from our scheduled interview on Otter’s calendar.

Make meetings searchable

It’s all part of a push by Otter to store meeting content and make it searchable, just as office workers today take for granted that Slack discussions, spreadsheets, and word processing documents are always accessible. That can make meetings more valuable for attendees, Liang says — and make it easier for people to skip meetings without missing anything important. In the future, he adds, Otter’s AI might even be able to automatically flag meeting invitees if it notices something relevant to them is being discussed.

Sam Liang [Photo: Otter]

“In companies, people often tend to invite more people to a meeting than necessary,” says Liang. “We see Otter becoming that end-to-end system that can really help people communicate much better and also help them reduce their zoom fatigue and improve their mental health.”

In Otter’s Notes, you can now create what Otter calls “Meeting Gems” by highlighting sections of the notes to turn them into action items that you can assign to yourself or a colleague, add additional comments, or ask questions. These action items also appear in the newsfeed.

Like other transcription tools, Otter automatically distinguishes between speakers in recordings, lets users specify the names of each speaker and label them consistently, and allows users to clean up transcripts if they choose, even while viewing and listening to meeting recordings. These recordings and other data are encrypted and stored with privacy in mind, says Liang. “We recognize that voice communications often contain highly sensitive, highly confidential information,” he says.

The service also now allows Otter customers to add slides and other visual meeting aids to Otter’s notes by clicking on the thumbnail of the recorded meeting video. This requires Otter Assistant, a feature available to members with Pro plans price at $12.99 per month or $100 per year and Business plans priced at $30 per month or $240 per year per user.

Otter Business users who connect through the website will see an invitation to use the new features and interface over the next few days, according to the company, and the new version will be rolling out to all users by May. The company’s iOS and Android apps will also be updated in the coming weeks.

Otter says it’s seen sustained interest over the past year, with the cumulative number of minutes of meetings the service has transcribed growing from 3 billion minutes to 12 billion minutes. Otter adds new features to make meetings more useful


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