Zoom has announced the general availability of a new set of offerings designed to help organizations safely re-enter the office and support a hybrid work environment as COVID-19 restrictions are eased.
The new offerings, which the company calls ‘Everywhere Workforce’ Innovations, include hardware integrations, room control capabilities, contactless experiences and new whiteboarding features. The new tools can even monitor a room’s air quality, count the number of people in room to abide by occupancy limits and create a virtual receptionist in a building lobby.
In a news release, the company cited a survey from Boston Consulting Group of 12,000 professionals in which 60% said they want flexibility in where and when they work. These features aim to address those changing workplace trends.
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- Users can now pair a Zoom Room with a mobile device by pairing the iOS or Android mobile client to a Zoom Room. This allows users to join meetings on the Zoom Rooms directly from their client and the mobile client is automatically placed in companion mode during the meeting. Employees can use the Zoom Rooms Controller app on their mobile device and access room, audio and video controls and start or join a meeting. This gives users the option to control a meeting entirely form their device and eliminates the need for them to touch the shared in-room controller.
- Another hardware integration is the Neat Bar, a Zoom Rooms appliance that provides air quality monitoring via an advanced set of capabilities called Neat Sense. This lets organizations monitor meeting rooms for things like air quality, humidity, CO2, and dangerous compounds to keep occupants safe.
- Zoom is also making it possible to use supported cameras along with the Zoom dashboard and scheduling display to see how many people are in a room real time to ensure social distancing requirements are being met.
- Another new offering is a virtual receptionist or kiosk mode that provides a contactless entry experience for guests. To make that work, users need to customize the “start meeting” button on a Zooms Rooms for Touch device in the lobby to connect visitors with a receptionist.
- Users of Zoom Rooms for Touch can now also control the desktop of the person sharing their laptop screen directly from the Zoom Rooms for Touch device.
- Lastly, users can now send a Zoom Rooms for Touch whiteboard to Zoom Chat or email. In a personal Zoom Room, users can also send it to chat groups.
In a statement, Zoom’s Chief Product Officer Oded Gal said people are an organization’s most important asset.
“As the world plans to safely reopen businesses, educational institutions, healthcare facilities, and government entities, we are focused on innovating across our platform to support their needs,” Gal said.