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Zoom Adds Voice Feature, More Controls to Rooms Service

The Zoom Rooms update includes webinar controls, in-meeting chats and more.

Continuing its focus on enabling hybrid work, Zoom this week shared in a blog post several new features for its Zoom Rooms service.

Designed to add more in-room meeting capabilities and controls, these updates are:

  • Smart Gallery — Announced in October 2020 and now available in public beta, this AI-based feature will take a single-camera view of multiple people in a Zoom room and send up to three separate video streams to remote participants, Zoom said. Smart Gallery public beta currently supports Poly devices, with Neat products coming later this month and Logitech and DTEN D7 devices following later this year.
  • Native voice commands — This feature allows meeting participants to use voice commands to start and stop meetings and check in on all Zoom Rooms platforms; the commands are processed locally. Zoom gains this capability, which is available in the latest Rooms public beta, via integration with the TrulyNatural speech recognition software from edge AI provider Sensory.
  • In-meeting chat for Rooms — Meeting participants joining via Zoom Rooms or Zoom for Home devices can now respond to chats using the room controller or touchscreen, Zoom said.
  • Unified device management — For simplified Rooms management, Zoom has combined Zoom Phone appliances, Rooms devices, and Rooms digital signage management into a unified dashboard.
  • New webinar controls from Rooms — With new webinar controls for Rooms, meeting hosts can lock webinars, mute panelists, and toggle on/off the raise hand feature.
  • Conference room connector (CRC) — Using CRC, enterprises can now allow users to activate Zoom Phone within conference rooms. This feature is currently available in the U.S., as well as in select locations in Europe, Australia, and Asia-Pacific, Zoom said.
  • Network device interface (NDI) support — Enterprises can now enable integration of audio and video streams from Rooms with studio, video production, and other environments via NDI.

This week’s announcement follows other recent Rooms updates, including support for meeting management via AWS’s Alexa for Business and the ability to host and join meetings on Facebook’s Portal TV.

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