Zoom update brings new features including gesture support, raise your hand to.. raise your hand.

    photo of professor teahcing his student
    Photo by Vanessa Garcia on

    Video conferencing platform Zoom have another round of feature updates coming your way. This month the product updates include some neat new features, particularly gesture support.

    Zoom are adding gesture recognition which will enable you to raise your hand, like you would during normal meetings and this will be detected by the camera and raise your hand, saving you the hassle of clicking the ‘raise hand’ button. This also works for the thumbs up reaction, and when you think about it, it’s amazing it’s taken this long for this feature to be added, as this is a far more natural way of interacting.

    While you may not always have your camera on for all meetings, when you do, this is a great feature. You can imagine Zoom will continue to add support for additional gestures in future releases.

    The improvements this month also include the release of Focus Mode, enhancements to the Zoom Phone dashboard, Zoom Chat sidebar enhancements, and more.

    You can visit the Zoom support page for the full release notes and click the ‘Follow’ button on the right side of the page to get the latest product updates in your inbox.

    Here’s a roundup of the updates for this month:  

    Zoom Meetings

    Focus Mode

    Focus Mode helps keep people focused in a Zoom meeting. Designed with educators in mind, Focus Mode places meeting participants in a view where they can only able to see themselves, the host/co-hosts, and the content they are sharing.

    In this view, hosts and co-hosts can also choose to view participants in gallery view, enabling them to see all participants simultaneously.

    Transfer meeting from mobile to desktop

    The world of work is changing, and employees need to communicate and collaborate effectively, whether at the office or on the go. The ability to seamlessly transition a meeting from mobile to desktop and back to mobile allows you to continue your conversations no matter what life sends your way.

    Limit screen sharing for meetings with external participants

    To prevent the sharing of sensitive information, admins can apply restrictions to specific users or to groups that prevent them from screen sharing when a guest participant (a user external to the host’s account) joins a meeting. These users will still be able to screen share when there are no guest participants.

    Automatic reactions from gesture recognition 

    We added some great new iPad functionality and the newest iPad feature takes expression to the next level by bringing some of your real-life gestures into your meeting. Automatic reactions from gesture recognition enables users to use visual gestures, such as a raised hand, to automatically use a corresponding meeting reaction.

    Currently, there is support for this feature for the Raise Hand and Thumbs Up reactions.

    Zoom Phone

    Privacy feature for shared lines

    For customers that leverage shared lines, we’ve released a feature that enhances the security and privacy of calls on shared lines. When members of a shared line group and a shared line appearance enable the privacy feature during the call, it prevents others from picking up a held call, listening, whispering, barging, or taking over the call.

    Note: This feature is not supported on desk phones and requires client version 5.7.6 or higher.

    More call queue visibility

    Enhancements are also on the way for the admin dashboard to add more visibility into metrics associated with call queues. This includes providing account owners and admins with the ability to view the top 10 extensions by call usage (for example, inbound, outbound, internal calls) or minutes usage (for example, international mins, toll-free minutes).

    Granular control of call monitoring privileges

    Account owners and admins can now select specific privileges to customize call monitoring groups. For example, they can only allow the group to barge into calls. Previously, setting a privilege would automatically grant all lower-level privileges. This feature will not have any effect on existing settings for call monitoring groups.

    Zoom Chat

    Chat sidebar enhancements

    We’ve made further enhancements to the chat sidebar to streamline the user experience. These include:

    • The addition of clear markers that note whether a channel is public or private.
    • An update to the chat sidebar to display fewer chats and channels per group.
    • The ability to expand the chat sidebar to see more chats and channels.

    Additionally, the updated search functionality can again be found on the client’s left side, creating an interface that is more familiar to our users.

    New admin experience

    The admin experience has been consolidated so you can manage your account settings, groups, group settings, and contacts conveniently from one place. Account owners will have the option to temporarily stay with the current experience or permanently switch to the new admin experience. We will move all customers to the new experience in October 2021.

    You can download the latest Zoom client to enjoy all of these latest updates and features.

    Jason Cartwright
    Jason Cartwright
    Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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