On October 14, I spent about 90 minutes watching the 2020 Zoomtopia opening keynote livestream. Zoom Founder & Chief Executive Officer Eric S. Yuan offered news of exciting features coming soon. I’m sharing highlights based on my top four hybrid workplace goals.
Like most events this year, the Zoomtopia user conference is virtual and complimentary. Attendees can follow the WFH dress code of business on the top, casual on the bottom, as I read on the event FAQ page.
In the opening keynote, Yuan explained that Zoom is on a mission to deliver happiness. This year’s event theme is Epic Environments. The Zoomtopia website notes that the theme “celebrates Earth’s landscape and explores how customers can create their own epic environment with Zoom.”
Currently, Zoom is on track to host more than three trillion meeting minutes this year. – Eric Yuan
Work from home isn’t going away, and we will likely spend some time at the office. Yuan discussed how Zoom supports the hybrid workplace. An environment common to many of us these days.
Yuan and other speakers teased sneak peeks about Zoom upgrades and new functionality coming soon. Based on what I was most interested in, I grouped these announcements into four key areas that could deliver happiness in the workplace for me. Here’s what I learned.
Security and Privacy Enhancements
With the explosion of Zoom users to 300 million by late April 2020, security was top of mind during the early phases of our WFH reality. Zoom responded by creating meeting passcodes by default and adding two-factor authentication. AES 256 GCM encryption is included with free and paid accounts. Now, Zoom Chief Information Officer Jason Lee shared plans for the next phases of security. Zoom will leverage public key cryptography to further protect meeting data in transit. Additional plans include strengthening Zoom’s end-to-end encryption via SSOs.
Also, Zoom meetings will provide added peace of mind with video waiting rooms, which Zoom is targeting for release in early 2021. You’ll get see who’s knocking on your meeting room door before you admit them.
Zoom phones will also help banish spam calls. You’ll send them to voicemail or block them entirely.
In productivity news, you’ll see ZAPPS in Zoom meetings. Look for your favorite collaboration apps like Slack right inside the meeting platform. Over 35 partners including Asana, Dropbox, and Wrike are on board for the roll-out.
Enjoy Zoom whiteboards upgrades too. The infinite canvas allows teams to collaborate as if they were in the same physical room. Meeting attendees will use stickies and snapshots to capture and share ideas. Features include up and down voting for stickies, and saving snapshots to use after the meeting ends.
Zoom gets that WFH isn’t going away. Zoom home devices will keep remote team members engaged. IT leaders can manage these devices from anywhere. New home devices will also let Zoom power your TV for a better meeting experience.
For developers, Benjamin Dean, Platform Program Manager at Zoom, announced the release of a fully-customizable video enhancement for Zoom SDK. Dean stated that this new feature makes embedding Zoom meetings into existing applications possible with just a few lines of code.
Meeting upgrades include shared immersive backgrounds, recording highlights, and animated reactions. You’ll hear and see when someone applauds. New video filters can be shared with team members, creating a common border around your video feed.
Reactions and breakout rooms and coming to Zoom webinars. Customized lobbies for webinars will deliver a consistent brand experience.
Business owners can look forward to the full launch of OnZoom.com, now in beta. This virtual event platform will help businesses host virtual events, take payments, and engage with customers.
Safety and Well-Being
Upgrades coming to Zoom Rooms include using voice control or personal devices to start a Zoom meeting. Meeting room attendees can avoid touching shared meeting controls.
Zoom digital signage can display how many people are in a room before you enter. Admins will also be able to check occupancy and CO2 levels from the Zoom dashboard.
Finally, Thrive Global founder Arianna Huffington previewed the Thrive Reset Zapp to help users prevent Zoom fatigue. “Zoom users will be able to build their own 60-second guide from their own favorite photos, quotes, and sounds that bring them calm and joy,” Huffington explained. Guides can be shared with others directly in the meeting to build human connections. People can choose from pre-loaded 60-seconds guides too.
The Zoomtopia welcome keynote wrapped up with a brief appearance by Dave Mathews, who quickly showcased Zoom’s audio quality while strumming his guitar.
This is just a quick overview of the opening keynote announcements. Watch the full keynote:
Overall, listening to the welcome keynote was time well spent. You can check out day 2 of the live stream on Zoomptopia.com. Visit the Rooms and Workplaces Virtual Tour and Video Library too. The library includes tips and best practices. A few day 1 Zoomtopia sessions are already posted there too.
Check back here in the next few days for more Zoomtopia livestream attendee experiences.
As with any forward-thinking event, features and release dates may change.
Images credit: Zoom Video Communications, Inc.