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Zoom arrives on Amazon, Google, Facebook smart devices

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Zoom will soon be available on a selection of widely used smart displays, as the video conferencing giant looks to expand its Zoom for Home initiative.

Users will soon be able to join meetings from the Amazon Echo Show, Portal from Facebook and Google Nest Hub Max by either pressing a button or using their voice. While there are many ways to upgrade your work from home setup, being able to do so using a device you already have is even better.

Chief product officer at Zoom, Oded Gal provided further insight on the firm's decision to bring its video conferencing service to smart displays in a press release, saying:

“We’re excited to bring Zoom to these popular devices. It’s more apparent than ever that people are looking for easy-to-use displays for their video communications needs, both professionally and personally.”

Zoom on smart displays

By adding Zoom to smart displays, users will be able to more easily connect with their colleagues, family and friends which will help improve their productivity as well as their relationships while working remotely.

Beginning in September, Zoom will be available on Facebook's Portal Mini, Portal and Portal+ with support for the company's Portal TV coming in the future. Portal's Smart Camera technology automatically keeps users in frame which simplifies camera controls for more immersive video calls. 

Zoom will be coming to Amazon Echo Show devices later this year and users will be able to join video meetings by simply saying, “Alexa, join my Zoom meeting”. If a user has linked their calendar in the Alexa app, Alexa will be automatically able to start scheduled meetings entirely hands-free without requiring users to know their meeting ID or passcode.

By the end of the year, Zoom will also arrive on Google Assistant-enabled smart displays including the Google Nest Hub Max. The service will be fully integrated with both Google Calendar and Google Assistant, allowing users to join meetings using hands-free controls with commands such as “Hey Google, join my next meeting”.

When smart displays first arrived on the market, they provided users with a visual way to control their smart homes but now thanks to Zoom's expansion of its Zoom for Home initiative, users will soon be able to use them to host or join video meetings.

Date

20 Aug 2020

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    But as digital transformation sweeps through every industry - from retail to transportation to manufacturing, and beyond - it’s exposing gaps in digital accessibility and the vulnerabilities these gaps create for businesses and customers alike. 

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    Yet, only 3% of the internet is accessible to people with disabilities. So, when we talk about gaps in digital accessibility, we are first and foremost talking about millions of lives and livelihoods that are being left behind, while the rest of the society continues to reap the benefits of digital transformation. 

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    There are a number of visible and invisible disabilities that may impair a person’s ability to access digital content. The general categories of disabilities include visual, auditory, motor, and cognitive/neurological. 

    To be accessible to the broadest audience, digital content should meet the four major principles defined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) - it has to be perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. 

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    As you think about the ROI of digital accessibility, consider that, in the US alone, people with disabilities control $645 billion in disposable income. 

    Another important consideration is search engine optimization (SEO). From a business perspective, the purpose of SEO is to drive target audiences to your website and convert site visitors into paying customers. For Google, the world’s biggest search engine, the goal is “to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.” By implementing digital accessibility best practices, such as clear navigation, proper headings, ALT text, video captions, etc., you can improve your site’s ranking in search and grow organic traffic. 

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    Broadly speaking, steps in creating accessible websites fall into two categories: designing new sites and revamping existing sites for greater accessibility.

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