Zoom unveils major developments to its platform

During the vision keynote of Zoomtopia 2020, Zoom Video Communications unveiled major developments to its platform that evolve the future of communications. The two-day virtual conference opened with CEO Eric S. Yuan presenting the vision for the company, followed by CPO Oded Gal delivering the product keynote.

Eric S. Yuan, CEO of Zoom

Among the most significant developments to the Zoom platform:

OnZoom: A one-of-a-kind online event platform for Zoom users to create and host free, paid, and fundraising events. Hosts can grow their businesses, expand their reach into new audiences, and give back through native donation integration. Zoom users can discover these events and sign up for new experiences with additional functionality like gifting tickets and an attendee dashboard to keep tabs on favorite events and brands. Available as a public beta for US users to attend events from SMBs and flagship content partners like WW (formerly Weight Watchers) at OnZoom.com.

New end-to-end encryption (E2EE) offering: This optional feature will be generally available in technical preview to free and paid Zoom users next week. It can be enabled at the account, group, and user level, and, depending on how the account admin sets up the feature, can be toggled on and off by the host on a by-meeting basis. When enabled, Zoom’s E2EE ensures that communication between meeting participants using Zoom applications is encrypted using cryptographic keys known only to the devices of those participants. With E2EE, no third party – including Zoom – is provided with access to the meeting’s private keys.

Customizable SDK: Zoom is adding new enhancements to its SDKs, enabling developers and companies to enrich their own custom video-based applications with Zoom’s platform, available now on Android, iOS, and web. Developers can take advantage of a customizable UI and session control, making it easier for them to bring high-quality video, audio, and instant chat to their applications.

Zapps: Zapps enable developers to create apps that power workflows before, during, and after the meeting. Zoom has brought first and third-party developed apps into the meeting experience for real-time adoption. Zapps are designed to give developers a fast and flexible web view canvas to create apps, viral distribution, and IT deployment and manageability.

Unified communications platform enhancements: Zoom has developed new functionalities for its core unified communications platform.

° Immersive scenes: Immersive scenes lets the host set a custom background theme for their meetings or create layouts where participant videos are embedded within a scene that everyone shares, like a classroom or courtroom.

° Zoom for Home: Support for DTEN ME, Facebook via the Zoom on Portal app, and Zoom Rooms appliances are generally available. Amazon Echo Show, DTEN onTV, Google Assistant-enabled Smart Displays including Nest Hub Max, and Yealink A20 will be supported by the end of year. Coming in 2021 are additional hardware offerings from HP, Lenovo, and Neat.

° Contactless collaboration: Enhanced voice command options and simplified pairing of personal devices to control Zoom Rooms meeting experiences.

° Enhanced whiteboarding: A suite of whiteboarding enhancements will enable persistent collaboration across mobile, desktop, and rooms.

° Zoom Rooms smart gallery: Leveraging AI, Zoom Rooms smart gallery presents in-room participants as individuals in gallery view to better enable face-to-face communication between in-office and remote participants.

° Zoom Phone features: Alert safety team members and 911 dispatchers simultaneously with E911, which integrates with Zoom Digital Signage and Zoom Chat to inform employees and guide responders. Other upcoming Zoom Phone features include Team SMS and AI-powered spam detection and blocking.

° Enhanced Webinar features: Reactions, breakout rooms, customized lobbies, and debrief rooms.

° Video Waiting Rooms: Hosts will be able to choose to admit a guest after seeing them in a waiting room.

° High Fidelity Audio: Using AI, Zoom will automatically detect when to turn on High Fidelity mode.

Personal workspace hardware certification: With long-term remote work becoming more prevalent, Zoom is expanding its hardware certification program to include personal workspace devices. The additional hardware types include personal and portable USB and Bluetooth speakerphones such as the new Poly Sync 20, webcams, and all-in-one desktop systems.