Zoom Adds Video Calls With Alexa Controls to Fire TV Cube
Amazon has made two-way video conferencing possible through Zoom with the Fire TV Cube and with voice control by Alexa. The new feature extends beyond just camera-enabled Alexa devices as was available last year to any device with Zoom, continuing the video conferencing platforms extension into more devices.
The new conferencing system just requires the Fire TV Cube owner to connect their device to a compatible webcam and to connect all of it to the Zoom app available on Fire TV. Once the camera is in place and connected, users can sign into their Zoom account and ask Alexa to join Zoom meetings, reciting the meeting ID and passcode upon request. The app will show all of the user’s contacts and upcoming meetings, with the option to join or start them. Users can also link their Zoom calendar to Alexa so that asking the voice assistant to join their Zoom meeting will prompt Alexa to list relevant meetings from the calendar and automatically dial in when the user says yes to the meeting they are trying to join.
“Our customers have enjoyed being able to video call and connect with loved ones on the big screen from the comfort of their couch. We are excited to announce that starting today you can video call friends, family, and business colleagues with the Zoom app on Fire TV,” Amazon explained in a blog post. “We enjoy having the flexibility to join work meetings or connect with loved ones near and far with the power of two-way video calling on Fire TV Cube with Zoom, and we hope you do too!”
Zoom’s place with the Fire TV Cube is the latest area of growth for the company, which has been on a blitz of new features and acquisitions over the last year and a half. The changes have been fueled in part by the spike in use caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but Zoom has its eye on adding its services to many more devices, including the Amazon Echo Show, Facebook Portal, and Google Nest Hub Max smart displays. Those early announcements didn’t mention anything about voice assistant controls, nor did the Zoom for Home smart display launched last year. Zoom has been looking to third-party arrangements to handle some of the feature demands, like Dubber’s conversation transcription and analysis or Otter’s virtual assistant that runs quietly in the background of meetings, records and transcribes the audio, and takes notes in real-time. In terms of Zoom Rooms and their voice commands, the platform integrated Alexa for Business controls back in April. The company has been bringing some of the features in-house, however, like the purchase of AI-powered translation startup Kites or digital contact center Five9.