Special Feature

Zoom aims to meld remote, in-office collaboration to prep for hybrid workplaces

Zoom's platform enables contactless room controls as well as environment monitoring and tools to enhance collaboration between in-office and remote workers.

Zoom is adding features to its platform to prepare for more touch-free meetings at work as the new normal for hybrid work emerges.

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The company said that it is rolling out a series of platform updates designed for the hybrid workplace including offices, co-located space, remote locations, and home. Those features acknowledge that COVID-19 worries will persist and safety will be a big concern as offices reopen. In addition, enterprises will need tools enable collaboration between in-office and remote employees.

Zoom has been building out its hardware and app ecosystem. At Zoomtopia, Zoom launched its platform play with Zoom for Apps, apps that are built into the video conferencing experience, and OnZoom, a marketplace for content creators. 

Among the updates:

  • Zoom's iOS and Android mobile apps will pair with a Zoom Room so a device will shift to companion mode during a meeting. With the Zoom Rooms Controller app, controls will be available to individual users. The upshot is the app will eliminate the need to touch a share in-room controller.
  • People counts in Zoom Dashboard. Cameras in the meeting room will surface how many people are there to ensure social distancing and curb crowds.
  • Environment and air quality monitoring via Neat Bar, a Zoom Rooms Appliance. Neat Bar has a feature called Neat Sense that allows you to monitor air quality, humidity, and other conditions. The environmental data will be available on the Zoom Dashboard, Zoom Rooms Controller and Scheduling Display.
  • A virtual receptionist and kiosk mode for contactless entry for building guests.
  • Zoom Room for Touch users can control from their device the desktop of a person sharing a laptop screen.
  • Users can send a Zoom Rooms for Touch whiteboard to Zoom Chat or email. A personal Zoom Room whiteboard can be sent to chat groups. Zoom said these features streamline collaboration outside of the meeting room.

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