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Zoom Reveals Meetings, Phone Updates

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A laptop with Zoom on it
Image: monticellllo - stock.adobe.com
At its user conference Zoomtopia today, Zoom unveiled a host of updates for Zoom Meetings and Zoom Phone and announced enhanced tools for developers.
 
For Zoom Meetings, the updates are:
  • Immersive scenes — A meeting host can set a custom background theme (scene) or create a layout for situating video participants in a real-life setting, such as a conference room or classroom.
  • More reactions, actions — A set of new animated reactions, including an audible clap, for meeting participants to use
  • Video waiting rooms — Meeting hosts will be able to see a guest’s video in the waiting room before admitting them to the meeting. This feature will be available early next year, Zoom said.
  • Meeting highlights — Through AI and natural language processing, Zoom cloud recording will be able to highlight key insights from a recording transcript.
  • AI-based high-fidelity (hi-fi) audio — Launched last month, Zoom’s hi-fi mode suppresses background noise and soon the hi-fi mode will be turned on automatically through AI capabilities, Zoom said.
  • Auto-suppression of background noise — AI will turn on high-fidelity mode, which Zoom launched last month as a manual capability for suppressing background noise, automatically.
Zoom also revealed its virtual event platform, OnZoom, and enhancements to its webinar service. Zoom Video Webinar updates compromise of customized lobbies, breakout and debrief rooms, and a revamped layout within the webinar, Zoom said.
 
Zoom Phone’s Latest
For Zoom Phone, the first updates focus on E911 and a variety of other capabilities.
 
With a new feature for Zoom’s E911 service, Nomadic E911, safety team members and dispatchers will simultaneously receive a notice when someone makes a 911 call from Zoom Phone. In addition to receiving a notice on their Zoom Phone device, designated safety team members will receive a Zoom Chat message with the 911 call alert. These team members will be able to listen and connect to an E911 call to provide additional information to the emergency responder, Zoom said. Additionally, the safety team will be able to trigger a notice on Zoom Rooms Digital Signage to help emergency responders locate the person in need, Zoom said.
 
Nomadic E911 is available today; Zoom Rooms Digital Signage capabilities are set for beta by the end of 2020, Zoom said.
 
Other updates for Zoom Phone are:
  • Zoom Phone Team SMS — Call queue members will be able to transfer text responses to each other through Zoom Phone SMS. The feature is in beta, with GA planned for the end of 2020, Zoom said.
  • Spam detection and blocking — Zoom Phone admins will be able to use AI-based identification to root out spam calls. Additionally, the system will allow enterprises to route spam calls to voicemail or block them automatically, Zoom said. Beta is planned for November, with GA in early 2021.
  • Improved global support — As of next week, with the addition of South Africa, Zoom Phone will be available in 42 countries and territories.
 
Enhancements for Developers
For app developers, Zoom introduced Zapps, a web-based platform for creating and distributing apps, and improved software development kits (SDKs).
 
Using Zapps, developers will be able to create apps intended to enhance the experience users have before, during, and after a Zoom meeting. Zapps launched today with 25 partners, including Atlassian, Asana, Box, Dropbox, Slack, Wrike, Cameo, Slido, HubSpot, Chorus, Gong, Miro, Mural, ServiceNow, PagerDuty, and others, Zoom said. 
 
Additionally, developers will now be able to use the Zoom SDK, which is available for Android, iOS, and web, to customize UI and session controls for their video, audio, and instant chat applications, Zoom said.
 
All updates will be available first quarter of 2021, unless previously stated, according to Zoom. 

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