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Zoom Ecosystem: Expanding for Meeting Rooms, Home Offices

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Someone using Zoom on their laptop
Image: yalcinsonat - stock.adobe.com
With at-home workers and general consumers becoming an increased business focus, Zoom showcased a host of products at this week’s customer and partner event aimed at gaining these users' attention. And just as Zoom balances its enterprise and consumer ambitions, its partners are gearing up to do the same with a variety of new devices, services, and apps.
 
Zooming at Home & Beyond
Launched in July with the DTEN ME from video communications hardware provider DTEN, Zoom for Home has grown into a portfolio of all-in-one collaboration devices that provide WFH users access to their Zoom Meetings, Zoom Phone, and any other Zoom app. At Zoomtopia, Zoom added several devices to the portfolio, which it designed to fill the WFH tech gap. Additions to the portfolio include:
 
  • DTEN onTV — this plug-and-play device connects to a TV via an HDMI cable, allowing WFH users to host and join Zoom Meetings and OnZoom events from their TVs, DTEN said. onTV features a 12-microphone array and four-camera system, DTEN said. The device, priced at $399, is available for pre-orders and set to ship by year’s end, DTEN said.
  • HP’s All-in-One with Zoom devices — Launched in May, HP’s Collaboration All-in-One G6 with Zoom Rooms appliances will now be available as part of the Zoom for Home portfolio. Zoom Rooms comes pre-installed on the appliances, which feature an integrated webcam, microphones, and speakers, HP said.
  • Lenovo’s ThinkSmart View — Launched in January and now included in the Zoom for Home portfolio, this dedicated collaboration device features an eight-inch HD touchscreen, wide-angle camera, privacy shutter, dual-microphone array, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth pairing capabilities, and a whiteboard function, Lenovo said. With the device, users can start or schedule video meeting and sync their calendar and status, Lenovo said. Separately, Lenovo introduced its ThinkSmart Hub device for Zoom Rooms, a room device that supports Amazon’s Alexa for Business voice capabilities.
  • Yealink Meeting A20 Zoom Edition — This video bar, previously available as a Microsoft Teams device, now comes in a Zoom version available through the Zoom for Home portfolio. The video bar features an eight-microphone array, speakers, noise reduction technology, and auto-framing and speaker tracking capabilities.
Zoom device partner Neat used Zoomtopia to announce several products pertaining to Zoom for Home and Zoom Rooms.
 
For Zoom for Home, Neat will add two new devices to this product line. The new devices are:
  1. Neat Frame — An all-in-one device that features a portrait display, Neat said.
  2. Neat One — A USB device that connects to laptops with the aim of improving the meeting experience with better sound through a microphone array and speaker.
Both devices are compatible with Neat Acoustic Bubble for noise suppression and will be available at an as-yet announced time in 2021, Neat said.
 
Additionally, Neat introduced the Neat Bar Pro, a video bar for larger meeting spaces. Neat Bar Pro features a microphone array, two cameras, and an image depth sensor. In addition, it is compatible with Neat Pad devices and supports Neat Sense, a set of capabilities to detect environmental conditions like noise, light, presence, number of people in a room, air quality, humidity, and levels of carbon dioxide and organic chemicals in the room, Neat said.
 
The Neat Bar Pro will be available next fall, Neat said.
 
From Speakerphones and SBCs to Augmented Reality
Outside of Zoom for Home devices, a variety of vendors showcased their Zoom-compatible devices and services. These vendors include Poly, Ribbon Communications, and AR provider Integem.
 
Poly unveiled a line of USB and Bluetooth speakerphones called Poly Sync. Each Poly Sync speakerphone features voice tracking and Siri and Google voice assistant support. The three Poly Sync versions are:
  • The Poly Sync 20 and Poly Sync 20+ feature a three-microphone array and programmable buttons and support Poly's digital signal processing for audio enhancements. The 20+ version also allows for Bluetooth connectivity via a BT600 USB adapter, and both versions are certified for use as a Zoom personal USB speakerphone, Poly said.
  • The Poly Sync 40 features a battery that lasts for up to 20 hours, and comes with an option that allows automatic Bluetooth unpairing once a meeting ends, Poly said. Additionally, users can wirelessly daisy-chain two units to expand the speakerphones’ reach.
  • The Poly Sync 60, designed for larger meeting spaces and conference rooms, features a six-microphone array, two built-in speakers, and intelligent LED, Poly said. Additionally, an enterprise can connect a USB video camera to the device.
The Poly Sync 20 will be available in November, with the 40 and 60 speakerphones to follow in early 2021, Poly said.
 
Ribbon Communications announced that its Edge session border controller (SBC) portfolio is certified to deliver on-prem and cloud-based voice calling capabilities for Zoom Phone. With Ribbon's Edge SBCs, enterprises can use Zoom's BYOC capabilities to connect a Zoom Phone service with a preferred service provider, Ribbon said. Ribbon has received certification for the SBC 1000, SBC 2000, and SBC Software Edition (SWe) Lite, Ribbon said.
 
And for AR, holographic AR provider Integem last week introduced its Zoom integration, which was showcased at Zoomtopia. Integem’s AI-powered software will allow users to create and interact with AR scenes in a Zoom meeting, Integem said. The software works on laptops, desktops, tablets, and smartphones and can be used in 2D or 3D mode, Integem said.
 
Zapps Brings Apps into the Meeting
As discussed previously on No Jitter, Zoom introduced its new marketplace for apps, Zapps, at Zoomtopia.
 
Among the applications that launched with Zapps are:
  • Chorus.ai — Chorus.ai is an AI-powered conversation intelligence platform, designed for sales teams. The Chorus.ai Zapp features on-call coaching and provides customer relationship insights, including key call snippets, emails, and "next steps" from prior calls, Chorus.ai said. Additionally, Chorus.ai users can bookmark key moments and add notes to a call or meeting.
  • Docket — Docket is a meeting intelligence platform that provides stored meeting history, action item tracking, and the ability to create shared agendas. With Docket Zapp, users will be able to take collaborative notes with meeting guests, build and share meeting agendas, and assign and follow-up on tasks without leaving Zoom, Docket said. The Docket Zapp will be available for beta testing in the coming months, Docket said.
  • Mural — Mural is a digital whiteboard and visual collaboration app that allows users to create sticky notes, drawings, images, and diagrams. During a Zoom meeting, the Mural Zapp will allow a host to share their Mural whiteboard for joint collaboration with meeting participants, Mural said.
  • Wrike — With the Zapp for Wrike, a collaborative work management platform, users can capture action items and assign a task owner during and after meetings, Wrike said. Additionally, Zoom users can set due dates, attach files, add comments, search projects and tasks, and send follow-up action items to meeting attendees, Wrike said.

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