For the majority of workers, working from home essentially means carving out a space in your house to use a laptop and maybe some accessories like monitors, keyboards and the like.
Without the ability to use the conference or huddle room’s advanced videoconferencing technology, we’ve taken to getting by with the built-in camera and microphone’s in our PCs. If you’re lucky enough, maybe you found a Logitech webcam before they were sold out.
We seem to be living our lives on Zoom, which is why Zoom is continuing to step into the hardware game and meet the demands of the remote workforce with a new hardware solution called Zoom for Home.
For the first iteration of the new category of products, Zoom partnered with videoconferencing hardware manufacturer DTEN to create the Zoom for Home – DTEN ME, a 27-inch display with three built-in cameras, eight microphones and a touch display for screen sharing, whiteboarding, annotating and ideation.
It comes integrated with Zoom and it’s ready to use right out of the box for Zoom license holders, Zoom says.
AV integrators had begun outfitting remote workers – typically higher-level emplyoees – with remote work kits like PTZ cameras, videoconferencing bars and other devices.
However, those solutions can be costly and a bit overkill for a home office for just one person.
According to Zoom, Zoom for Home devices – which will run about $600 – will be compatible with Zoom Rooms hardware and solutions from manufacturers like Neat and Poly.
Per a Zoom press release, here are the main features:
- Enhances the Zoom Experience – Log in to a Zoom for Home compatible device with a Zoom user account to create immersive office experiences without additional licenses (Zoom for Home is available with all Zoom Meeting licenses, including Basic.)
- Always Ready– Easily start ad-hoc or scheduled meetings, take and receive phone calls, and virtually collaborate with content sharing and annotation.
- Personalization– Syncs with the user’s calendar, status, meeting settings and phone for an integrated video-first unified communications experience.
- Flexible Management Options– Zoom for Home devices can be set up to be IT-managed remotely through the Admin Portal or self-managed by the end-user.
- Zoom for Home Design– Ensures hardware is a purpose-built solution and is accessibly priced for a home office setup.
In an interview with TechCrunch, Jeff Smith, head of Zoom Rooms, says the new offering is designed for the home office and is ready to use out of the box.
He says this is designed with simplicity in mind, so that you pull it out of the box and launch the interface by entering a pairing code on a website on your laptop or mobile phone. Once the interface appears, you simply touch the function you want such as making a phone call or starting a meeting and it connects automatically.
The device can be linked to a user’s calendar so all meetings appear in a sidebar for easy access. It can pair with a user’s computer or smartphone, similar to Bluetooth.
Smith said Zoom will launch Zoom for Home with more partners, including the Neat Bar and the Poly Studio X Series.
This offering comes about a week after Zoom announced Zoom Hardware-as-a-Service, a new offering that helps smaller end user customers deploy Zoom Rooms without a large up-front cost.