Video-conferencing platform Zoom on Wednesday announced that its Zoom for Home platform was coming to Amazon Echo Show series, Google Nest Hub Max and Facebook portal later this year.
It’s a big expansion for Zoom, which has recently started to branch out into its own licensed videoconferencing hardware. And smart displays — with their high-quality directional microphones and built-in touchscreens — are practically designed to be good videoconferencing devices.
The new Zoom integration is a big deal for Google, Amazon, and Facebook, too, given that all three of these companies have almost exclusively stuck to their own, in-house video chatting solutions (like Google Meet and Facebook Messenger) on their smart displays. The Portal will be the first to get Zoom, with a rollout planned for this September.
Each of the three solutions will implement Zoom a little differently. Facebook’s Portal devices will be adding a Zoom app (along with new apps for BlueJeans, GoToMeeting, and Webex, which were also announced today), and will rely on Facebook’s “smart camera” technology to automatically keep you in frame, just like it does for Facebook’s own Messenger and WhatsApp calls.
Additionally, Facebook is making the Portal less reliant on your personal Facebook accounts: instead of requiring a Facebook or WhatsApp account to log in to a Portal, the company is adding an option to use a work-focused Facebook Workplace account in “the coming weeks.”
As far as Google’s smart displays are concerned, like Amazon Echo Show smart displays, Zoom will arrive on the Google Nest Hub Max smart display later this year. Google Nest Hub doesn’t have a front camera. With Google Calendar and Google Assistant integration, users will be able to use voice commands such as, “Hey Google, join my Zoom meeting” to join a meeting.
Alexa customers will also get a similar experience. Echo Show devices that have been synced with your calendar will be able to automatically start meetings without requiring users to manually input a meeting ID or password, and it’ll support Alexa voice controls, too. Amazon’s rollout will start later this year, beginning with the Echo Show 8.