Zoom launches Immersive View tool that places participants into realistic SCENES including classrooms, coffee shops and art galleries

  • The feature is live now for all Free and Pro users on the most updated Zoom 
  • Will work for calls of 25 people or fewer and arenas can be customised  
  • The surroundings and seating plan can be altered by the meeting’s host  

Zoom has rolled out a new feature to make video calls on the platform appear more normal and akin to real-life. 

The so-called ‘Immersive View’ will place participants into realistic settings, such as board rooms, classrooms or a conference auditorium. 

It builds on Zoom’s popular virtual background feature which allows users to place themselves in front of a backdrop of their choosing.  

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Zoom has rolled out a new feature to make video calls appear more normal and akin to real-life, called ‘immersive view’

Free and Pro customers can now access the feature, which will work for groups of 25 or fewer. The meeting host must activate the feature and choose the arrangement, which can be found in the same menu as Speaker View and Gallery View

How to try the Immersive View tool 

1. Open Zoom and launch a new meeting

2. Select Immersive View the same way you would select the Speaker or Gallery View

3. You’ll then be given the option to automatically or manually place participants into a virtual scene of your choosing

4. You can also easily move participants around that scene and even resize a participant’s image for a more natural experience

Free and Pro customers can now access the feature, which will work for groups of 25 or fewer. 

The meeting host must activate the feature and choose the arrangement, which can be found in the same menu as Speaker View and Gallery View.

Zoom will automatically scatter call participants in random spots but the host can alter the seating plan if they so wish. 

Any image and location can be used as an immersive background as long as it meets certain technical criteria, such as file type, aspect ratio, and resolution. 

The feature only works on the most up to date version of Zoom, so for someone with an older edition, they will see the bland black boxes, however participants with the latest patch will see the novel arrangement. 

‘Announced at Zoomtopia 2020, Immersive View allows hosts to arrange video participants and webinar panelists into a single virtual background, bringing people together into one scene to connect and collaborate in a cohesive virtual meeting space,’ David Ball, Product Marketing Specialist at Zoom writes in a blog post. 

While Zoom has been working on this update for a while, rivals Teams and Skype beat it to the punch in rolling out to the masses.  

Microsoft, which owns and operates both Teams and Skype, launched Together Mode last year. 

Zoom was one of the few companies to benefit from the pandemic. 

With much of he world trapped in a revolving door of lockdowns, staff were forced to work from home, children ditched the classroom for virtual lessons and socialising was done via webcam. 

The feature only works on the most up to date version of Zoom, and for someone with an older edition, they will see the bland black boxes, however participants with the latest patch will see the novel arrangement

In the last quarter of 2020, Zoom recorded a 369 per cent year-over-year increase in its fourth quarter revenue. 

It also revealed a fourth quarter operating cash flow of $399.4 million, up 993 per cent year-over-year,

For the full fiscal year its operating cash flow was $1,471.2 million, up 869 per cent compared to the year before.

Zoom fatigue hits women harder than men 

The ongoing pandemic has forced millions of workers to spend hours in virtual meetings, and a growing number are suffering from ‘Zoom fatigue.’

But the exhaustion brought on by marathon video-conference sessions doesn’t affect everyone equally, according to a new study from Stanford University.

Researchers discovered women were more than twice as likely than men to report feeling ‘very’ to ‘extremely’ fatigued after a Zoom call.

They theorize that’s because women tend to have longer meetings and are more prone to anxiety caused by the ‘self-focused attention’ of video conferencing platforms’ self-view feature.

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