Over the last few months, Zoom has done what not many brands have been able to do before it. That is, become a household name. A category identifier. Zoom became to video calls what WhatsApp is to instant messages. Even if you aren’t actually sending a WhatsApp message to someone, you may still hear someone refer to the very act of sending a message as “send a WhatsApp”. That’s the same for Zoom now. The thing is, Zoom now wants you to be able to do your video meetings from not just your phone or laptop. It wants to be everywhere in your smart home. Up next, smart displays, which means it’s coming for Amazon Echo, Google Nest Hub and Facebook Portal displays.
This is the latest expansion of the company’s Zoom for Home program which will see support for Zoom video calls and Zoom meetings on the Facebook Portal displays next month onwards. And soon after, the Amazon Echo Show and the Google Nest Hub Max will also get the support for Zoom video calls. If nothing else, this gives you a solid reason to keep a smart display on your home workstation. It was just last month that Zoom had announced the partnership with tech company DTEN for the DTEN Me, a 27-inch smart LED display that was designed for all sorts of Zoom workflows. The price tag, $599. Which is why adding support for Amazon, Google and Facebook smart displays that users may already own makes a lot of sense and will likely see much quicker adoption.
Zoom says that it’ll be a one-touch “join meeting” feature for Zoom meetings on the Portal from Facebook smart display. Interestingly enough, Facebook had played up the Portal’s Smart Camera technology which is designed to follow the user in case they are moving around the room and automatically keeps them focused and in frame.
If you are looking to use Zoom on the Amazon Echo Show, all you need to do is ensure your calendar is liked to Alexa—this can be done in the Amazon Alexa app for smartphones. Once this is done, Alexa will automatically prompt and start your Zoom video meetings without you needing to punch in your meeting ID or passcode. Zoom will be rolling out this support for all Echo Show devices, starting with the Echo Show 8. The new feature will be available in the US first, and then roll out to other parts of the world.
While Google also has multiple Nest Hub variants, at this time Zoom meetings will only be available on the Nest Hub Max smart display. If you have your calendars linked to the Google Home account, all you need to say is “Hey Google, join my Zoom meeting”. This feature will roll out before the end of this year. The smaller Nest Hub will miss out on this functionality because it doesn’t have a front facing camera. It must be observed that Google has not launched the Nest Hub Max in India as of the time of writing this.
It could actually be quite convenient to have your smart display sitting on your workstation take care for the video meetings, leaving your phone, tablet and PC free for tasks that you may wish to continue with on the side. After all, work doesn’t stop. Unfortunately.