We’ve been working hard to bring you new and exciting enhancements to Wire Conferencing, like our UI improvements and adding landscape mode for mobile devices for the past nine months. Our most significant success has been the release of our large group conferencing capabilities; we are one of the only providers of end-to-end encrypted (E2EE) large group conferencing. Today, we are releasing another unique feature to improve your calling experience – audio moderation!
For context, E2EE large group conferencing alone is a massive achievement because it’s complicated to balance group conferencing with encryption due to network limitations. While encryption is a good thing, it does include specific limitations. As our Senior Product Manager Eva Cigic says, “Encryption includes a lot of ‘heaviness’, in traditional E2EE communication, a conference is made in a mesh formation, which has high demands on network bandwidth, making it difficult to manage based on network limitations. It’s like we’re bringing a knife to a gunfight since other tools don’t have this limitation. We are sending media, encryption keys, messages, and other technical data.” Conferencing requires several payloads sent at once. This exponential increase in data is why it’s so hard to enable E2EE in conferencing and is the main reason why so many apps and tools exist without E2EE.
Wire has found a creative solution to provide E2EE conferencing without crippling users’ networks. Conferencing facilitates large amounts of data needed for audio and video calling and sends the necessary encryption and keys. This is why previously we were restricted to 12 participants for audio and 4 for video, we can now enable up to 100 participants for voice and 50 participants for video conferencing. Keep in mind that this exponential increase in encrypted data would normally overload a network. Meaning organizations can now conduct large conferencing in a safer environment without overburdening their networks.
But, with progress comes new challenges, such as what happens with 100 people in a virtual conference. Anyone who has attended (or seen virtual meetings on tv) can attest to the issue of background noise – either someone’s microphone is giving feedback, the unusually loud Berlin ambulance is driving by, or a dog starts to bark – and how it can be hard to recognize (and embarrassing) when it’s coming from you. Hence why we are very proud to announce our basic audio moderation feature for large group conferencing. Group admins are conferencing moderators and can mute individual participants or mute all participants at once. A participant gets notified when muted by a moderator and can unmute themselves when they deem suitable. Participants see their status on the mute icon. This feature is currently only available for desktops, but we will be releasing additional features and upgrades in the future.
All of this is part of our mission to make remote collaboration more secure and productive. Besides crystal clear audio quality, excellent video conference with just one click, and the security of Wire’s end-to-end encryption we are hard at work to bring you more moderation features in the upcoming months – get started today with the option to mute call participants.
Help us improve
This is just the start of many improvements we have planned to make calling on Wire smoother and easier for you. In order to ensure that we’re going in the right direction, we rely on your feedback to guide our roadmap and to build the security-focused features you need. Please take our most recent survey or share any suggestions you have.
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