New From Zoom: Enhancements to Help Customers Re-Enter the Office & Enable Hybrid Workforces
Around the world we are in different stages of addressing COVID-19, with many still working from home while others are reopening or using a hybrid work model. No matter where they are in the process, all businesses want to keep their employees and clients safe. The traditional workplace is going to evolve and adapt, and Zoom is working to ease the transition with some upcoming platform enhancements.
We’re announcing many of these features today at our annual user conference, Zoomtopia 2020, with most anticipated to come by the end of the year.* We’ve also expanded our hardware certification program to offer you the solutions essential for your business needs.
Check out all the ways Zoom is helping organizations re-enter offices safely, enabling hybrid workforce collaboration, and supporting additional Zoom for Home devices to enable productivity no matter where you are.
How Zoom is helping organizations re-enter offices safely
- Virtual Receptionist (Zoom Rooms Kiosk Mode)
With the new Zoom Rooms Kiosk Mode, visitors to your building can walk up to a branded display and remotely engage a receptionist virtually over Zoom. Zoom Rooms Kiosk Mode is anticipated to be available as a beta by the end of 2020.
- Zoom Rooms Scheduling Display People Counting
Before entering a meeting room, attendees can view the number of people already in the room and whether it’s at capacity amid social distancing protocols. Scheduling Display is expected to support in-room people counting by the end of 2020.
- Enhanced Voice Commands for Zoom Rooms
Upon entering a meeting room, attendees can start a meeting by simply saying “Hello Zoom, start meeting.” This feature has been available, but Zoom is expected to expand Zoom Rooms OS support as a beta by the end of the year.
- Native Integration of Alexa for Business on Zoom Rooms
With voice-activated control for Zoom Rooms Appliances with Alexa for Business, you can control your Zoom Rooms experience with commands like, “Alexa, join my meeting” or “Alexa, what’s the guest wifi password?” You can enable Alexa for Business directly in your Zoom admin portal and control advanced settings through the AWS console. Zoom customers can request access to this beta, which is anticipated to begin in December, at zoom.us/zoomrooms-beta.
- Control Zoom Rooms From a Mobile Device or Laptop
In-room attendees can pair their mobile or laptop device with the Zoom Room to manage the room controls without touching a shared device. Zoom Rooms Control via mobile is expected to be supported by the end of year, while desktop availability is planned for shortly after.
- Zoom Rooms Enhanced Dashboard Reporting
Zoom admins will be able to better monitor the safety of the environment by receiving dashboard insights such as the temperature, air quality, and in-room attendees of a room. This feature requires supported hardware and is expected to be supported by December.
- Zoom Rooms Controller – Remote Management
For virtual events such as all-hands or town halls that are run out of Zoom Rooms, IT teams can launch the room controller from the Zoom admin portal. This feature is in beta now and is expected to be available in November 2020.
Enhancements to better enable the hybrid workforce
- Zoom Rooms Smart Gallery
For remote attendees to have improved face-to-face communication, Zoom Rooms Smart Gallery will use AI to create a gallery-view of in-room participants. This feature is currently on the roadmap for 2021.
- Suite of Zoom Whiteboarding Enhancements
In 2021, Zoom plans to enhance online whiteboarding across mobile, desktop, and rooms with features like infinite canvas, persistent whiteboard, snapshots, templates, and more. View the demo video of Zoom Rooms whiteboard enhancements on the Neat Board.
- Zoom Apps (for Zoom Rooms!)
Zoom has brought first and third-party developed apps into the meeting experience for real-time adoption with Zoom Apps, which enable developers to create apps that power workflows before, during, and after the meeting, including support for apps from:
New devices from our hardware partners to better enable working from home
We’re continuing to expand our newest category of hardware solutions: Zoom for Home. Zoom for Home is available for all Zoom users across free and paid accounts, and no additional licenses are required. In 2021, we anticipate Zoom for Home will bring more options than ever, with support for devices that easily video-enable living room displays and more.
Zoom for Home devices supported now:
- DTEN ME: 27” all-in-one appliance
- Portal from Facebook via the Zoom on Portal app
- All Zoom Rooms appliances
Devices planned to be supported by end of year:
- Amazon Echo Show
- DTEN onTV
- Google Nest Hub Max
- HP Collaboration G6 24/27 All-in-One with Zoom Rooms
- Yealink MeetingBar A20
Zoom for Home devices anticipated to come in 2021:
- Lenovo ThinkSmart View: This Zoom for Home appliance allows for remote management and includes an 8-inch HD touchscreen with a wide-angle camera, dual microphone array, and Bluetooth that allows pairing of a compatible headset.
- Neat Frame: An all-in-one, Zoom for Home desktop device with a unique portrait touchscreen, ambient noise-reducing technology that filters out unwanted background noise, and lighting effects.
- Neat One: An all-in-one USB video device that connects to your screen or laptop with a powerful camera, microphone, and speaker for enhancing the video meeting experience.
- Portal TV from Facebook: Users can join their Zoom meetings using their TV as the display.
Personal workspace hardware certification
With long-term remote work becoming more prevalent, Zoom is expanding its hardware certification program to include personal workspace devices. The additional hardware types include personal and portable USB speakerphones such as the new Poly Sync 20, webcams, and all-in-one desktop systems. This certification program will help ensure these essential hardware devices meet the needs and requirements of remote workers when using Zoom.
Check out our Zoomtopia livestream today and tomorrow to learn more about how Zoom is enabling today’s evolving workplace and workforce. To learn about how Zoom for Home or Zoom Rooms can help you re-enter your office and enable productive hybrid workforces, connect with a Zoom specialist today!
* Note: Please note that products or functionality mentioned in this post are subject to change at Zoom’s sole discretion and may not be delivered as planned or at all. Customers who purchase from Zoom should make their purchase decisions based upon currently available pricing, features, and functions.
Editor’s note: This post was updated Oct. 28 to reflect the Zoom Apps product name change.