Why it matters: Zoom is taking advantage of the growth of videoconferencing to expand its reach to smart displays. This is a logical next step considering Google, Amazon, and Facebook already pitch their smart displays as ways to video chat with friends and family.
As the current pandemic has forced many to work or learn from home, Zoom has become by far the most popular video conferencing software. Now the company seeks to expand the number of devices you can use by including support for smart displays. The company has announced that the Amazon Echo Show, Google Nest Hub Max, and Facebook Portal will all gain the ability to use Zoom.
It's notable that all three smart display makers are allowing Zoom, which is a direct competitor to their own offerings.
This seems like a logical progression for Zoom. Smart displays are perfectly suitable for videoconferencing with their built-in microphones and cameras. It's notable that all three smart display makers are allowing Zoom, which is a direct competitor to their own offerings. It may also be beneficial for parents who need a way for their child to conduct online classes without having to purchase a laptop or tablet.
Each platform will be slightly different in their Zoom integrations. Facebook Portal, which is getting Zoom first, will use Portal's smart camera technology that keeps participants in frame. Users also don't have to use their personal Facebook accounts to log in. Facebook is allowing users to adopt a Facebook Workplace account instead.
Amazon Echo Show owners will be able to use Alexa voice commands. Once Zoom meetings are synced with your calendar, it will automatically start the meeting without having to input the Zoom meeting ID and password.
Finally, Google Nest Hub users will enjoy integration between Zoom, Google Calendar and Google Assistant. Like Amazon, Zoom will be able to pull meeting invites from the Calendar and utilize Assistant commands to start meetings. Unfortunately, since Google limits how many accounts can be signed in at once, it'll be more difficult to separate Zoom meetings with friends and work.
Portal gets first dibs at Zoom with the rollout beginning in September to "select regions." However, no specific dates have been disclosed for Nest Hub and Echo Show integrations other than later this year.