In 2021, the world was faced with new challenges as organizations began to plan their safe return to the office while simultaneously accommodating their employees working from home. At Zoom, we’ve been hard at work developing the solutions and features our users need to face these challenges head-on and succeed in new work environments.
We’d like to share some of the innovations we’ve released over the past year that are fueling the workplace evolution, empowering employees, streamlining collaboration, and making the transition to hybrid work as seamless as possible.¹
1. Smart Gallery
For those working remotely, it can be hard to see the expressions and body language of participants in conference rooms during meetings. Smart Gallery, a new Zoom Rooms feature, uses cutting-edge hardware² from partners like Neat and Poly, along with AI to create individual video feeds of in-room participants, giving remote participants a clearer view of their in-room counterparts and creating equity in the meeting experience.
2. Auto-generated captions
Creating a meeting experience that everyone can enjoy is key to our mission of delivering happiness. Auto-generated captions empower all employees to engage in their meetings, including those who may be hard of hearing or in a noisy environment where they can’t hear clearly.
3. Video mail
Dynamic, streamlined communication is at the heart of the workspace revolution. Our video mail feature for Zoom Phone enables users to leave other Zoom Phone users a video voicemail, providing a more personable alternative to standard voicemail and streamlining collaboration.
4. Zoom Rooms voice commands
The modern workspace presents a number of health and safety challenges, including reducing the sharing of devices and resources to prevent illness while maintaining productivity. Currently in public beta, native voice commands provide on-site employees with a seamless solution for controlling their Zoom Rooms experience, all while reducing the sharing of devices. For enhanced functionality, Zoom Rooms appliances will also support Alexa for Business, allowing you to perform tasks like booking another meeting room hands-free.
5. Pair Zoom Rooms to a mobile device
New health and safety policies such as social distancing requirements and reducing the sharing of devices has created new challenges in creating an effective conference room experience. With the ability to pair a personal device such as a mobile phone or laptop to a Zoom Room, users can enjoy all the same functionality they would have on the Zoom Rooms controller right on their device.
6. Virtual receptionist and Zoom’s kiosk mode
Protecting the health of on-site employees is critical, especially for those interacting with a large number of people, such as front desk employees or IT personnel. Virtual receptionist, a Zoom feature that allows staff to interact with on-site stakeholders via Zoom’s kiosk mode, creates that personal touch that crucial facility personnel provide while protecting their health and safety.
7. Slide control
Providing a seamless and flowing presentation over video can be challenging, especially if you’re stuck asking another attendee to advance to the next slide or go back in the presentation. Slide control for Zoom Meetings and Video Webinars allows you to select multiple people to control the movement of slides in a presentation, enabling you to give control of the presentation to whoever needs it.
8. Workspace Reservation
With the rise of hybrid work where employees can both work from home and the office, providing a safe and frictionless on-site experience is critical. In public beta now, Workspace Reservation enables users to easily book spaces using an interactive map whether they are on-site or remote, creating a seamless experience for all employees.
9. Zoom Apps
A single enterprise-grade workspace solution is a huge benefit for any user, but using it alongside other enterprise-grade solutions is where the magic really happens. Zoom Apps gives users access to their favorite workspace solutions inside of their desktop Zoom Meetings, as well as endless opportunities for fun and learning with interactive games and apps!
10. Zoom For Home
Creating a professional meeting experience with high-quality audio and video and dynamic functionality is critical for any organization, especially for those with remote workers. Zoom for Home enables that experience in remote workspaces by empowering Zoom users to deploy purpose-built personal collaboration devices for video meetings, interactive whiteboarding, and more. This includes collaboration-ready touch screen devices like the DTEN ME, Amazon Echo Show 8 and 10, and Meta Portal ².
See how Zoom is returning to the office with these features and more in a tour of our San Jose location:
¹ Zoom Phone, Zoom Rooms, Zoom Kiosk, Zoom Meetings, Virtual Receptionist and Kiosk Mode, Zoom for Home, and related capabilities require the purchase of separate Zoom licenses and use of each is subject to individual license terms.
² Third-party hardware sold separately. Third-party trademarks including Neat, Poly Alexa, DTEN ME, Echo Show, and Meta are the exclusive property of their respective owners.
Exciting innovations coming next year
We’ve also got some incredible innovations coming in the next year that we can’t wait to share with you — here’s a sneak peek at some Zoom innovations that you can look forward to in 2022!
1. Huddle view
Bring your dispersed teams together in a digital space with Huddle view, which will give you a visual representation of a channel, giving teams a sense of togetherness while they chat and collaborate.
2. Zoom Events Backstage
Take the green room to the virtual space with our backstage feature, which gives speakers, panelists, and production support a centralized space where they can respond to Q&A, monitor chat, or mingle before going live.
3. Zoom Whiteboard (New)
The all-new Zoom Whiteboard enables on-site and remote participants to collaborate in real-time on a persistent digital whiteboard, anywhere, any time — no meeting necessary! On a laptop, in a conference room, on a mobile device, or on a Zoom for Home appliance, the new Zoom Whiteboard works anywhere Zoom Meetings do.
4. Zoom Widget
To help you connect with teams and streamline workflows, we’re developing the Zoom Widget, which enables you to receive an at-a-glance view of your meeting schedule, see who is already in a meeting, send a quick chat, and more.
5. Zoom Apps for Mobile and Webinar
We brought Zoom Apps to the Zoom desktop meeting experience earlier this year, and now we’re bringing it to the Zoom mobile app and Zoom Video Webinars! Bring your favorite workspace applications into meetings held on your mobile device or into your webinars, or create new opportunities for engagement with interactive games and other apps. We’ll also be releasing Immersive Apps, which enable you to create customized Immersive Views for both you and your attendees!
6. Video Engagement Center
Built with the same cloud-first scalability and trusted video architecture you’ve come to expect from Zoom, the Video Engagement Center will be an intuitive, cloud-based solution that enables you to connect experts and end customers over video, creating unique customer experiences whether they are at a physical retail location or using digital storefronts such as apps and websites.
7. Enhanced translation and transcription
We’re planning to extend Zoom’s auto-generated captioning to support a variety of languages and add live translation in the next year.
8. Jumpstart by Zoom
As part of our ongoing commitment to fostering and enabling innovation via the Zoom Developer Platform, we’re developing Jumpstart, our new app builder tool that helps developers who need industry-leading, reliable video in their app to move faster. After entering a few key configuration fields and selecting from some pre-designed features, branding inputs, and platform options, Jumpstart will generate code that brings Video SDK functionality seamlessly into an existing app.
Stay up to date on the latest Zoom innovations
We’re so excited to see how our customers will continue to leverage these features to enhance communication and collaboration. Be sure to check out our recent updates to the Zoom platform, and subscribe to our blog to receive the latest news about Zoom!