Zoom has been at the center of many organizations’ hybrid and remote work models, and the company and its device partners are continuing to improve the platform’s capabilities, announcing new features and products at Zoomtopia 2023 earlier this month.
On the platform side, Zoom’s big announcements included features like Zoom Docs, an AI-powered workspace for docs, wikis and work management. This is in addition to new Zoom AI Companion features such as the ability to generate ideas on a digital whiteboard and organization them into categories and expanded access to Zoom AI Companion for education and healthcare customers.
However, the company also made several announcements related to hybrid meetings at Zoomtopia, which is especially important to integrators that serve both residential and enterprise markets.
New Zoom Features for Hybrid Meetings
Following Zoomtopia, Zoom will begin rolling out name tags for each in-office meeting participant, so remote users will be able to identify people by name during the meeting and in meeting transcripts.
The company will also be adding a wayfinding feature next year, providing a map showing a route to the seat a hybrid worker reserved in the office.
In addition, Zoom will be rolling out new features next year for its virtual co-working tool Huddles, including “my office view,” which will help workers know when colleagues are in a virtual huddle or in the physical office along with their presence and location.
Zoom will also be rolling out this December Dynamic Layouts for Zoom Rooms, a feature designed to make it easier to follow a conversation between on-screen colleagues. Now available in beta, users will see video frames shift dynamically in real time as participants raise their hands or begin speaking so remote workers know here to focus their attention.
At Zoomtopia, Zoom also announced the general availability of Intelligent Director, a new feature designed to optimize the conference room experience for hybrid work, using multiple cameras to give every participant their own frame and best visual angle in Zoom Meetings. It supports up to three cameras with the ability to set it up for small, medium and large rooms.
Other hybrid meeting features include a new note-taking feature, improvements to continuous meeting chat, asynchronous video clips, and a new scheduling tool.
Specific to AV teams, Zoom is rolling out later this year Pro AV for Zoom Rooms, a new tool for AV professionals to manage multiple physical and virtual audio and video streams. It features a wide range of hardware support and partners for cameras and controllers and is designed for AV experts integrating Zoom into large, custom events.
Zoom Partner Program Updates at Zoomtopia
The videoconferencing and collaboration provider also announced updates to the Zoom Up Partner Program while at Zoomtopia. This update adds three new levels to the partner program: Silver, Gold and Platinum. Partners can onboard to the Zoom Up program in just a few hours of training and move up to higher levels by demonstrating knowledge and skill of the Zoom portfolio.
Rewards re-tiered in accordance with the Zoom Up level achieved, the company says.
Zoom is also adding new offerings and resources, such as a partner customer success program, a partner support program, a new partner licensing program and more.
New Zoom Hardware
Meeting room hardware manufacturers have been helping integrators support their customers’ Zoom Room environments for many years, and many of those manufactures used Zoom’s event to announce new products, features and offerings of their own.
That includes Crestron, which announced Zoom certification for the Videobar 70 and intelligent video cameras and a new Zoom Phone Appliance and Scheduling Panel with Zoom Rooms software.
Meanwhile, HP and subsidiary Poly also announced several new offerings and products, including the Poly Studio Bundle, which the company says is designed to leverage the Zoom Rooms Intelligent Director feature by applying AI to create more equitable meeting experiences in large rooms. The bundle includes three Poly Studio E70 cameras, a Poly TC10 controller, and an HP Mini Conferencing PC.
In addition to the recently announced Poly Voyager Surround 85 UC Bluetooth headset, the company also announced two new HP webcams with 1080p resolution, automatic focus, lighting and color correction, two new wireless keyboards and a Bluetooth mouse.
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