Zoom Debuts Gesture Recognition, Virtual Whiteboard, More

Zoom has added features including gesture recognition and a virtual whiteboard. The new Zoom IQ for Sales uses AI to analyze calls. Zoom Events has added Backstage to simulate the look and feel of an in-person event with “a persistent space for event panelists and staff to communicate behind the scenes before, during, and after a Zoom Events webinar session.” Management can now view “breakout rooms” from a main session to assess how participants are engaging, and a Central Library of Polls lets organizers more efficiently manage polling data, both in preparation and to share results.

Dynamic cloud recordings and improved audio — including reduced audio delays for Asia Pacific callers are part of the many improvements the company details in a blog post.

Instead of clicking on a reaction, Zoom’s gesture recognition now lets users give thumbs-up or raise a hand to react in a call. “You no longer need to bring out an iPad or iPhone” to use  gesture recognition on Zoom, Engadget points out, noting the company has added the feature to its Mac and Windows apps.

“Raise your hand or give a thumbs-up and you’ll send the appropriate reaction. As you might imagine, this promises more natural interaction in virtual classrooms and meetings than you’d get from clicking buttons.”

For now, gestures are limited to those two responses for users with Zoom 5.10.3 or later, and for individual users is disabled at launch, “but you can enable it per user, per account or entire groups,” Engadget explains.

The Zoom Whiteboard is now built into the Zoom desktop client, Zoom Meetings and Zoom Rooms for Touch devices, allowing you to add sticky notes, shapes, connectors, images and more, while Zoom IQ for Sales is what the company calls “a conversation AI solution” that analyzes customer interactions to surface key insights, actions and content from sales meetings.

“Cloud recordings can now record as many as nine spotlighted users in a meeting or webinar,” writes TechCrunch, noting, “there’s been an update to security as well. When Zoom detects unusual activity — such as logging in from a new device or a different country — on an account with a work email and without two-factor authentication, it will ask users to enter a one-time password.”

The Chat Etiquette Tool for Zoom Chat now lets admins “set up specific policies for chat and then decide what action the tool should take — like sending a warning or preventing the user from sending the message — when the tool has detected content in messages which trigger that policy,” TechCrunch explains. Chat has also added integration for Box and Microsoft SharePoint.

Maximum capacity has been expanded for the Expo floor for Zoom Events, “to help you scale your hybrid or virtual event” with hosting for up to 1,500 concurrent users. The feature can now accommodate up to 100 sponsored booths and 200 non-sponsored booths for total of up to 300 maximum total Expo booths per event, and allows “20 maximum sponsor representatives per sponsor and 20 maximum booth representatives per booth owner,” the company says.