Conference rooms are not dead, they are actually now more inclusive in the hybrid age


The conference room is dead, long live the conference room!

Office collaboration spaces have gone through their own accession journey over the past few years. While widespread remote work previously put office spaces on the back burner, the normalization of hybrid work has made them more important than ever. But flexible work requires conference rooms to look a little different these days.

To create a conference room environment that addresses the modern needs of your workforce, you need to use technology that’s designed to create clarity and cohesion, and involves everyone equally, no matter where they are.

Our workspace solution, Zoom Rooms, brings HD video collaboration into any space and enables in-person and remote participants to interact in real time. And its new feature, intelligent director*, helps make those interactions more inclusive and equitable through the strategic application of AI technology.

Get the assist from artificial intelligence

Not all conference room seats are created equal. Some people may have a spot where they can hardly see the screen, or one where remote participants can barely identify them. All too often, in-office participants struggle with feeling seen or empowered to speak up.

With intelligent director’s artificial intelligence technology, everyone in a Zoom Room has their own place in the meeting. Building on the existing Smart Gallery feature for Zoom Rooms, the feature uses multiple cameras and the latest AI technology to determine the best angle of up to 16 individuals in a Zoom Room to display within a meeting.

With intelligent director, recent winner of a Best of Show award for AV Technology at InfoComm, in-office participants can be seen and heard without the stress of finding the right seat, while remote participants can have face-to-face conversations with everyone in the room.

Artificial intelligence technology that supports inclusion

You want to make sure everyone feels like they have a voice in a meeting. With intelligent director’s AI technology pulling from multiple in-room cameras to identify the best view of each individual, you help everyone feel heard, involved, and included.

If you turn your head, intelligent director’s AI technology will recognize it and switch to the camera with better eye contact. Or if someone gets up to use Zoom Whiteboard, for example, the camera will switch to capture a better angle of that person. By promoting a more equitable meeting experience for both remote and in-person attendees, intelligent director enables cohesive collaboration and clear communication across teams and workflows.

Intelligent director is made possible through the support of Zoom’s hardware partner ecosystem. Manufacturers, including Apple, AVer, Dell, Intel, HP | Poly, and Yealink have worked closely to deliver the solutions necessary to deliver an inclusive meeting experience.

The feature is currently supported on Windows and Mac platforms, but will be available on other approved devices in the future.

Additional hardware that supports hybrid work

We know everyone’s conference room looks a little different, and the ability to customize is essential. While intelligent director’s AI technology helps address that need by capturing the right angles in real time, we know that everyone may have a different camera preference — or overall hardware need — for their unique workspace.

Zooms hardware certification program is designed to equip you with a choice — the ability to choose hardware for the kind of conference room environment you want to build. Zoom-certified devices have been tested for compatibility with specific Zoom services, so you can feel confident with whatever option you choose and onboard new tech in a snap. That way, you get time back to focus on what really matters.

Zoom’s hardware certification program includes dozens of devices, which we’re constantly expanding to help you enhance your communications experience. In fact, the program recently expanded to include the following: new ProAV cameras, additional large room cameras, contact center headsets, premium laptops, and personal input devices.

Revive your conference room

We know that one size doesn’t fit all. Intelligent director — and the rest of Zoom Rooms innovations and hardware partners — help you meet your people where they’re at. They’re designed to connect modern, distributed teams through a dynamic, inclusive conference room experience. You can encourage people to speak up, enable frictionless collaboration, and bring teams together. The conference room is far from dead — in fact, it’s bringing meaningful collaboration to life.

To learn more about intelligent director, visit our webpage.

*Intelligent director is currently available in a public beta and may be subject to geographic or license restrictions and other terms and conditions.

*This post is originated from Zoom Blog