Best of Zoomtopia 2021

On September 13th and 14th, Zoomtopia gave users a glimpse into the changes coming to Zoom, and there are some genuinely exciting updates. Here are some of our favorites.

Zoom Whiteboard

This new feature will enable teams to collaborate real-time no matter where their colleagues or collaborators are located. Users will be able to access Zoom Whiteboard from anywhere: in a Zoom Room, in a meeting, within the Zoom desktop app, and from a web browser. Users will be able to collaborate with others real-time, add sticky notes, comments, and see change history. This powerful new feature coming later this year will enhance teams from the enterprise to education to have a creative space to visually share ideas.

Zoom is partnering with Facebook using the Oculus VR headset to bring Zoom Meeting and Zoom Whiteboard to the VR space with Facebook’s Horizon Workrooms sometime during 2022. This partnership will create an incredible immersion when using the digital canvas and the virtual hub.

Hot Desking Solution

Hot desking has made office workspace a “first come, first serve” experience. Employees arrive, check in, and go to an unused office or cubicle. The upside in hot desking is the incredible flexibility, but the downside is that it’s tough to make sure the rooms have all the compatibility options to suit the employees needs.

With Zoom’s upcoming hot desk solutions, users get an interactive map of the office and can select their specific workspace and bring their Zoom profile with them. Their phone numbers and meeting credentials follow them on all compatible devices.

QR code-based hot desking will also be on its way through beta by the end of the year for Zoom Phone Appliances and Zoom Rooms, with focus on additional offices and conference room solutions.

Smart Gallery

Zoom Rooms Smart Gallery looks like it’s going to fix the common complaint about the issue of providing a clear view of participants. Now, AI will create individual video feeds for in-room members to give remote viewers a better view of who’s attending and speaking.

Smart Gallery also allows remote meeting attendees to be equally represented on-screen. It is currently available on Poly and Neat appliances with availability on Logitech devices later this year.

Zoom Phone Video Voicemail

Also announced as a feature coming to Zoom Phone is Video voicemails. This will allow users to leave video messages in the voicemail inbox instead of just audio voicemails.

Zoom Widget

Getting information users need at a glance hasn’t been a strong suit with Zoom, and that’s changing with the upcoming Zoom Widget. The widget will allow users to see their schedule of upcoming meetings and who’s participating. They can also communicate with the host in Zoom Chat.

Enhanced Translation and Transcription

Automatic translation support for 12 languages will come to the platform next year. Their automated transcription service will also offer support for 30 languages to help overcome language barriers.

Zoom Events Conference

In an effort to make the digital world feel like the real one, Zoom Events Conference will allow hosts to create multi-track, multi-day events complete with event lobbies,  networking capability, sponsorships, surveys, chat, recordings, and analytics.

It will offer the ability to host up to 13 concurrent sessions, an event that can last up to five days. This will also allow an itinerary builder for attendees.

Zoom Apps

While Zoom Apps have been around since July, there will be more features coming soon. Apps such as Zoom Rooms for Touch devices, Zoom Video Webinars, and the Zoom mobile app.

The app marketplace will offer APIs, SDKs, and more for increased integration and deeper useability.

To really make the Zoom meeting feel real, you could, for example, have the host appear in front of the virtual whiteboard, desktop, or document as if they’re standing in front of it, rather than in a box in the corner of the screen.

As a bonus, Mio announced during Zoomtopia that they’ll be using open APIs to enable connectivity between Zoom Chat and Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Webex.

Security Enhancements

To enhance privacy in meetings, Zoom will release a beta of their “Bring Your Own Key” (BYOK) feature, most likely later this year. Their End to End Encryption (E2EE) will extend to one-on-one calls placed on Zoom Phone. They will also display profile information during meetings so that participants can prove who they are.

Even after life returns to “normal” and more in-person collaboration becomes possible, virtual meetings will remain a regular occurrence in many business settings. These new tools will make team collaboration even easier and more compatible to the business's needs.

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