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Zoom has undoubtedly been one of the big winners of the COVID-19 crisis as the global workforce has been forced to hunker down at home during lockdown. Accordingly, the San Jose-headquartered video communication company’s shares have risen roughly four-fold since the start of the year. To capitalize on the platform’s rapid growth, Zoom today announced a “new category of software experiences and hardware devices” which will be bundled under a new Zoom for Home brand.
On the surface, Zoom for Home sounds like a consumer-focused product, particularly given that Zoom has been welcomed with open arms by families and friends around the world. However, Zoom for Home is very much aimed at the business fraternity, designed to bring a professional ethos to the home-working environment.
Zoom for Home basically preloads all the Zoom software smarts on a tablet-like device, enabling users to easily begin or schedule meetings, make phone calls, and collaborate across projects including features for sharing and annotating content, while it also syncs with each user’s calendar.
To begin, users log in to a Zoom for Home compatible device with their usual Zoom credentials, and it will work with all Zoom Meeting licenses – from basic (free) through to enterprise.
At launch there is only one Zoom for Home compatible device — the DTEN ME sports a 27-inch touchscreen screen, features three wide-angle high-resolution cameras and an 8-mic array touch display, and ships with the DTEN OS operating system. It’s available to buy on pre-order now for $599, and is expected to start shipping in August.
It’s worth noting here that Zoom for Home is a distinct program to that of Zoom Room Appliances, which launched last year to bring dedicated Zoom-compatible hardware to huddle rooms and conference rooms. The Zoom Room Appliances program requires a separate $49 license, requires users to buy a separate add-on to use standard phone-calling functionality, and — crucially — only IT admins are able to set up these devices.
Indeed, Zoom for Home was designed specifically for the home user — it doesn’t require any special license (free or paid), it can integrate with the user’s phone plan, and they can be purchased and set up easily by anyone — bet that a freelancer or someone who has been forced to work at home due to the COVID-19 crisis.