New Features Coming to Zoom Meetings

It’s something many hadn’t heard of a few years ago but now Zoom is not just an application, it is something we do. This week Zoom is hosting Zoomtopia and they have made some exciting announcements about how our next Zoom meetings will change.

Customized Waiting Room

If you are hosting a meeting with external and internal parties it helps to have a waiting room so you can start your meeting when you’re ready. You might also use a waiting room for larger events. Rather than just seeing “Waiting for host to start meeting”, the host can customize this page for guests. It could be as simple as a logo and description but Zoom also allows you to add a video that guests can watch while they wait. Awesome if you have an upcoming product launch or exciting reveal where you could use this waiting time to engage your audience.

Nudge late Attendees

They accepted the meeting request, the meeting has started, you have said your little pleasantries but where is John? Rather than text, call or IM him you can now nudge latecomers inside the Zoom meeting window. You can use Chat or click Ask to Join which will send him a notification with a fast link to get into the room.

The death of “Next slide please!”

There is always an important meeting where a senior leader will talk through a presentation but refuse to control the slides themselves. It’s usually because their assistant has created the slides and their manager will narrate over the top. At the end of each slide the now famous “next slide please” will be heard before guests are taken magically to the next phase of the presentation. Zoom is killing that with the ability to assign slide control privileges. Now, the assistant can share their screen and pass slide controls to the senior leader who simple needs to tap the arrow key to make the magic happen.

Mobile and Desktop Switching

Sometimes you’re late to your desk and sometimes you need to get away from your desk early. But this doesn’t mean you should be late or leave early anymore. You can now shift a live Zoom meeting from your phone to your computer and vice versa in real time. This is especially handy when you want to duck to the kitchen for some water, to make a sandwich or to get outside for fresh air. Start and finish the meeting on two different devices without anyone noticing.

Smart Gallery in Zoom meetings

When some employees shift to the office and others remain remote Zoom is trying to make the meeting experience still feel like we’re all individuals. When you Zoom into a meeting room of six people you won’t just see all six people in one video window. Smart Gallery will frame each person into their own window so they’ll appear in their own box and still actively change and light up when speaking. This will be supported on particular meeting room cameras from Poly, Jabra and Logitech and will make all Zoom meetings feel inclusive.

Multi-language Live Transcription and Translation

For people working across multiple countries, this is a huge addition. Attendees can choose to speak in their native language and Zoom will translate and even transcribe to suit the language of each other attendee. This could mean that someone in Japan can be comfortable speaking Japanese rather than hold back or feel restrained if their English skills aren’t perfect, and vice versa.

When are these changes coming?

Some will be sooner than later but expect all of them to be ready to use before Christmas. Keep your Zoom client updated and practice these changes in meetings with yourself as soon as possible.