As a consequence of the COVID-19 lockdown, video conferencing tools have gained immense popularity. This is due to the inherent need for people to continue their work and attend schools. Zoom, the video conferencing tool that emerged popular among all, is now planning to launch smart displays later this year.

The announcement

The company announced that later this year it will be possible to participate in Zoom meetings from the Facebook Portal, Amazon’s Echo Show devices, and Google’s Nest Hub.

“We’re excited to support some of the most widely used smart displays, including the Amazon Echo Show, Portal from Facebook, and Google Nest Hub Max, so you can connect by video to colleagues, family, and friends with ease,” said the California based company on its blog post.

Zoom on Portal will roll out available in September while Zoom on Amazon Echo Show and Zoom on Nest Hub Max will be available late fall 2020.

Starting next month, Facebook will get a smart display with Zoom integration. With a one-touch feature, the user can “join meeting” and the smart camera feature will keep a user in the frame and keep track of all other users.

Facebook Portal

“Portal’s Smart Camera technology automatically keeps you in the frame, making camera controls simple for immersive video calls,” says Zoom.

Facebook confirmed in an announcement that video conferencing tools such as Webex, GoToMeeting, Zoom, and BlueJeans will now start working on the Portal devices. 

“Starting a conversation on Portal takes just a few seconds. You can see your upcoming meetings on your Portal and join a video call by just tapping the link. You’ll also be able to take advantage of the whiteboard function on BlueJeans and Zoom by using your finger to draw on Portal’s screen,” said Facebook in a blog post.

Amazon Echo Show

While Amazon’s Echo Show and Google’s Nest Hub will get access to Zoom later this year. When users get access to Zoom they will be able to ask Alexa and Google Assistant to join a meeting.

Users can link meetings to the calendar of their representatives who can later join the meeting without entering the meeting ID and password.

“Zoom on Echo Show, customers will be able to access high-quality meeting experiences by simply saying, “Alexa, join my Zoom meeting.” And, if you’ve linked your calendar in the Alexa app, Alexa will automatically start your scheduled meeting entirely hands-free without you needing to know your meeting ID or passcode,” said Zoom.

Video conferencing: its need and security updates

The growing need for video conferencing tools has pushed existing players to come up with new solutions for people’s problems. In India, where the pandemic is far from over, schools and colleges are hoping to start a new academic year through online teaching. 

However, Zoom has faced privacy issues due to the lack of strong end-to-end encryption based service. This led to a ban on the app in many countries, especially by government agencies citing security concerns. 

Later, Zoom announced ‘end-to-end encryption’ services for its users to counter the backlash. To tap the growing ‘online meeting’ market, new players are entering the market with advanced tools to compete with existing players.