Zoom Announces Several Updates Including Live Translations

Also coming are new whiteboard features and a Zoom widget

Zoom announced several updates on Monday as part of its annual conference, Zoomtopia 2021. 

Most notably, the company said it would expand its automated transcription technology to 30 languages and add live translations to 12 languages by the end of next year. Zoom said it would use machine learning and natural language processing technology to transcribe the language spoken, and then participants can have it translate to their language preference. 

A large Zoom meeting displayed on a laptop in someone's living room with a cup of coffee nearby.

Chris Montgomery / Unsplash

Another big update is in the platform’s whiteboard feature, which will allow users to access Zoom Whiteboard from anywhere at any time. For example, you'll be able to share a whiteboard over email or Zoom Chat and add sticky notes, comments, and drawings for brainstorming sessions. 

"We are excited to share that we are building a new persistent whiteboard experience that enables powerful, easy-to-use visual collaboration before, during, and after a virtual meeting," Zoom said in a separate blog about its Whiteboard feature.

“Zoom Whiteboard will be your powerful virtual hub for real-time and asynchronous collaboration, creating more engaging and efficient meeting experiences.”

Whiteboard also will be integrated into Facebook’s virtual workspace experience, Horizon Workrooms. You'll be able to work on a Zoom Whiteboard within a Horizon Workroom, so it feels like you are in the same room with your coworkers, even if you’re miles apart. Zoom said the Horizon Workroom compatibility would be available by early 2022. 

Someone on a conference call with a whiteboard in the background.

LinkedIn Sales Solutions / Unsplash

Among other updates, Zoom said it's adding a widget and a new toggle view called Huddle View that will give you a visual representation of a channel. Changes also are coming to Smart Gallery to enable remote workers to be represented equally on the screen with other participants. 

These new features will come in handy since many are still working remotely and using video calls to chat with coworkers. According to Okta’s 2021 Businesses at Work Report, Zoom is the top video conferencing app in the workplace and grew over 45% in usership between March and October 2020.

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