Zoom has just announced that its “Zoom for Home” video conferencing platform is coming to Amazon’s Echo Show line, Google’s smart displays plus Facebook’s Portal devices. Zoom will arrive on Portal in September, while it’s slated to be available on the Echo Show (beginning with the Echo Show 8) and Google-powered displays before the end of the year.
The company only launched its Zoom for Home initiative a month ago, when it announced a partnership with third-party manufacturers to create a line of “Zoom for Home” hardware. The first Zoom for Home product was the DTEN ME, and was designed for business professionals. By expanding to existing devices like the Echo Show, Google-powered displays (that includes the Nest Hub Max as well as other Assistant-powered displays like the Lenovo Smart Display) and the Portal however, Zoom is widening its footprint into the consumer space as well.
Zoom will take advantage of each platform’s unique capabilities. With Facebook’s Portal, Zoom users will be able to use the device’s AI-powered face-tracking for more immersive video calls. If you use Zoom with the Echo Show, you can use Amazon’s virtual assistant to join video calls with commands like “Alexa, join my Zoom meeting.” If you’ve connected your calendar to Alexa, it’ll even start your scheduled meeting automatically if you want. If you have Zoom integrated with a Google-powered smart display as well as your Google Calendar, you can say “Hey Google, join my next meeting” to initiate the video conference.
The interface on each platform will be familiar to anyone who’s used Zoom before. When you log in, you’ll see your profile picture on the upper left corner, which indicates it’s your account, and it’ll automatically sync with your calendar so you can see a list of upcoming meetings.
Zoom usage has increased substantially in the past few months as more people began working from home. According to a recent earnings report, Zoom had 10 million daily users in December 2019, but over 300 million in April 2020. People are frequently using Zoom not just for work, but also for parties and virtual get-togethers.
Both Facebook and Google have increased their video conferencing capabilities of late, in part due to competition with Zoom. Facebook, for example, recently introduced Messenger Rooms, which allows you to host group calls of up to 50 people. Meanwhile, Google finally added group video calls via Duo and Meet to all of its smart displays in June. Amazon, however, doesn’t appear to have supported group video calls at all with the Echo Show, so adding Zoom to its platform is especially beneficial.