Zoom is Coming to Amazon, Google, and Facebook Smart Displays, But Won’t Include Voice Controls
Zoom video conferencing is coming to the Amazon Echo Show, Facebook Portal, and Google Nest Hub Max smart displays this fall. Zoom’s digital meeting service has been limited to smartphones and computers until now, even as its use skyrocketed during the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis to more than ten times where it was last year. More platform options will likely make it easier to accommodate more people forced to video conference every day on Zoom.
Zoom will come to Facebook Portal in September, followed by the Amazon Echo Show 8 and Google Nest Hub Max in the coming months. There will be a new Zoom app on the various platforms specifically for smart displays that will connect to their Zoom accounts and a touch-screen option to join the meeting. There aren’t any voice command options, as of yet, though Zoom is reportedly working on adding that as an option.
“We’re excited to bring Zoom to these popular devices,” said Zoom Chief Product Officer Oded Gal said in a statement. “It’s more apparent than ever that people are looking for easy-to-use displays for their video communications needs, both professionally and personally.”
The new device options are part of the Zoom for Home project the company has been working on this year as huge numbers of users join the platform. That includes an eponymous smart display built by the company. The $600, 27-inch Zoom for Home is a high-end smart display for conferencing, with eight microphones and three wide-angle cameras connecting to embedded Zoom software, including whiteboard and screen-sharing features. Like the Zoom app coming to other smart displays, though, there is no voice assistant at all. On its own device that was a surprising reveal, but on the smart displays from other companies that make voice control a major selling point, it’s genuinely shocking to not include even very basic voice commands for Alexa or Google Assistant. It may be a testament to how eager Amazon, Google, and Facebook are to offer Zoom it isn’t a point of contention.
That’s especially true as competition for work video conferencing becomes more competitive. Zoom may be well ahead, but it has rivals in enterprise video conferencing. Microsoft recently introduced a revamped Teams software platform and new smart displays, all with the Cortana voice assistant. And Zoom’s new partners aren’t making any exclusive deals. Google casually mentioned the addition of Zoom in a larger blog post about communicating with the Nest Hub Max, making a bigger deal about its own Meet and Duo services, Facebook combined the Zoom integration news with the announcement of similar partnerships with BlueJeans, GoToMeeting, and Webex.