Amazon, Facebook, and Google Nest today announced Zoom video calls are coming to their smart displays in a shift that could shake up how people receive video calls and interact with AI assistants. This is the first non-native video offering for Facebook Portal and Google Nest products. Facebook Portal users have had to make calls using Messenger or WhatsApp, and Google Nest users have only been able to make calls with Duo and Meet. Zoom is also one of the first non-native video call services for Amazon smart display, but the Amazon Echo Show got Skype calls in 2018.
Zoom video calls will be available on Portal devices in September and on the Amazon Echo Show and a range of Assistant-enabled smart displays by the end of the year, a Zoom spokesperson told VentureBeat.
Bringing Zoom to smart displays could leverage the video calling service’s recent rapid growth and the fact that smart displays are already in millions of homes. Zoom has grown rapidly as the global pandemic forced many to work from home; in April, its daily active users grew to 200 million from 10 million just three months earlier.
Today’s news follows the launch last month of the Zoom for Home brand, which focuses on bringing Zoom to devices like smart displays. Zoom Room Appliances, hardware Zoom sells for controlling video calls in a workplace setting, launched last year.
Successors to the smart speaker, typical smart displays have a video camera, screen, microphone array, and an AI assistant that responds to queries with voice or visuals that appear on the display. In Q3 2019, Canalys concluded that 6.3 million smart display units have sold worldwide.
The Zoom integration continues to blur the line between AI assistants marketed primarily for getting things done at home and on the go and enterprise services at a time when more people are working from home. Prior to the pandemic, Amazon and Facebook launched enterprise versions of their smart speakers or displays, with the launch of Amazon for Business in 2017 and a Workplace from Facebook integration last fall. Alongside Zoom, Facebook is opening Portal, Portal+, and Portal Mini devices to BlueJeans, GoToMeeting, and Webex. Portal TV support for
Microsoft has not released a smart display but is attempting to pivot AI assistant Cortana to do more in the workplace. As part of that effort, Microsoft killed off third-party Cortana skills earlier this year and last fall launched Cortana in Microsoft 365 apps like Outlook to do things like read people’s emails and schedule meetings.
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