Zoom rolls out tons of new features including live translation
Automatic live transcriptions and closed captions in English will be available in February 2021 for free Zoom accounts. Zoom now says it "plans to provide real-time transcription for (as many as 30 additional languages) by the end of next year."
As part of that push, Zoom will also offer translation services for paid accounts, with the goal of "supporting real-time translation across as many as 12 languages by the end of next year."
Zoom's whiteboard feature will also undergo significant changes. Zoom currently allows you to create and share whiteboards during meetings so that you can doodle together while you talk, but later this year, a planned expansion will make Zoom Whiteboard available outside of meetings in Zoom apps and on the web.
The basic drawing tools appear to be the same as what Zoom currently offers; the main difference is that Whiteboard is being treated as a product alongside video calls, rather than a feature within them. On your boards, you'll be able to add sticky notes, drawings, and comments, and you'll be able to view them at any time.
Zoom will also be available in Facebook's Horizon Workrooms early next year. According to Zoom, the shared VR meeting space will be able to host video meetings and connect to Zoom Whiteboard. You can pin a Zoom Whiteboard to your virtual desk or the wall for everyone to see in VR, and draw alongside colleagues at a meeting via a traditional computer.
Zoom is also expanding its communication platform with apps that complement its Phone Meetings, Chat, and Webinar offerings. Zoom apps have been integrated into meeting workflows to provide a more immersive experience.
Other inclusive and hybrid-specific solutions, such as Hot Desking and Zoom Rooms Smart Gallery, were also announced. Hot Desking, according to Zoom, will allow employees to reserve desks and spaces in offices, with an interactive map and simple authentication. Individual video feeds of in-room participants are created using AI in the Zoom Rooms Smart gallery. This solution is unique in that it allows those who work remotely to feel included.
Zoomtopia added a slew of new features to the platform. Some of the new inclusive solutions, such as Rooms Smart Gallery and Horizon Workroom, are one-of-a-kind, but they may take some time to implement.