Friday, 02 February 2018 06:24

Zoom makes room for accurate machine learning transcription and more


Modern enterprise video communications provider Zoom has announced a variety of new features and enhancements, from machine learning-based recording transcripts to allowing 49 video feeds your screen at once and more.

Zoom Video Communications has announced new features and enhancements to its core Meetings platform and its Zoom Rooms software-based conference rooms.

The company says these enhancements "streamline administrator and user experiences and increase productivity" as part of its "ongoing effort to create frictionless experiences for buying, deploying, using, and managing enterprise video communications."

One of the big new announcements Zoom has made include the general availability of a feature it previewed at Zoomtopia last September: speech-to-text Recording Transcripts.

With this feature, you now have "machine learning-based Recording Transcripts" which promise to "create accurate, searchable speech-to-text transcripts of Zoom meeting and webinar recordings".

It's said to be "particularly helpful in legal, content creation, and training use cases, and generally useful to anyone who misses a meeting".

As you can imagine, Zoom proudly boasts that it is "the first meeting solution to bring this technology to market".

Now "generally available" to Zoom Business, Enterprise, and Education plan customers, it will be fascinating to see how accurate this feature truly is, with reviews by users sure to come soon, while Zoom's machine learning tech gets ever smarter and more accurate as time goes by.

Another new feature is the 7x7 View, which "now allows users to see up to 49 video feeds on their desktop screen at once".

Even better is Zoom actually supporting up to 500 video feeds, but in that instance, "the user would page through the feeds by clicking on the right side of their Zoom window".

Here's the comapany's video of its 7x7 49 screen interface in action, after which Zoom shares some stats, along with information on the updates for Zoom Rooms:

Zoom said: "Sixty-two percent of organisations use three or more communications solutions, but 100% of CEOs believe that their companies would achieve greater cost savings and effectiveness from communications platform consolidation (Forbes Insights Research, 2017)."

The company also states that "due to its frictionless and comprehensive communications solution, Zoom has converted major enterprise and educational organisations over the past six months including HP and Brown University".

So, what do the updates for Zoom Rooms include?

Zoom Rooms scheduling display:

Zoom says it has "unmoored its Scheduling Displays, so that these tablet schedulers (app runs on an iPad that sits outside the room to show upcoming meetings and allow for room reservations) can work for both Zoom Rooms and any other collaboration space".

It also states that "with the purchase of just one Zoom Rooms account and a customer can outfit their entire organisation with scheduling displays. Scheduling Display tied to Zoom Rooms is currently available to Zoom Rooms customers. Standalone Scheduling Display will be available later in Q1 2018".

Streamlined set-up for Zoom Rooms:

Then we're told that "from purchasing hardware (available in five kits with more to come {here), to deploying with Zoom’s Professional Services Team, to a simplified set-up flow, Zoom has made trying and rolling out Zoom Rooms easy. Customers can now try Zoom Rooms to join meetings without setting up an account."

If you're a customer that deploys "hundreds of rooms in different locations, IT can simply give an activation code to the installer for instant room setup," with the activation code feature "now available in Beta to Zoom Rooms customers."

Zoom founder and chief executive Eric Yuan said: "Zoom is here to take the work out of meetings. “We’ve dedicated ourselves to the features and enhancements that pull all the friction out of video communications. We’ve made it easier to buy and deploy Zoom Rooms, we’ve made it simpler to schedule meetings and manage rooms.

"We’ve made it so you don’t even have to watch meeting recordings, you can just search the recording transcript. And on top of all that, we’ve created this incredible value of allowing our customers to outfit their entire organisation with scheduling displays at an exceptionally low cost. We knew it would make our customers happy, so we did it. All in all, we’re making the technology easier, so people can focus on the work at hand.”


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.



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