Virtual Receptionists and Monitoring Air Quality – Zoom’s Smart Updates
12 February 2021
Zoom has recently launched a selection of new features, to support hybrid workforces and help businesses re-enter the office safely.
Video calling has been a lifeline for many during lockdown, for both business and social reasons. Zoom, one of the leading video conferencing apps, experienced 300 million daily meeting participants in April 2020, compared to just ten million in December 2019.
Zoom’s new features are intended to streamline collaboration between in-office and remote workers, and make the transition back into the office as seamless as possible. As well as facilitating communication, some of the new features also tap into wellbeing and smart technology elements.
Watch the video to discover the latest developments in video conferencing:
“The pandemic pushed the pace of our digital evolution and a new component has taken root: the virtual process. Now organisations are analyzing their human interactions and separating activities into two categories — what needs to be done in-person and what can be done virtually."
– Annabelle Bexiga
CIO Advisor, Zoom
Automating the visitor management process is predicted to become more of a common feature in our corporate buildings, now that social distancing appears to be a mainstay of 2021 daily life. This type of technology enables reception teams to become hosts and focus more on the visitor themselves and not the process, as well as allowing guests to be greeted remotely.
In Zoom Rooms Kiosk Mode, which is now generally available, a virtual receptionist can greet a building guests safely using a Zoom Rooms for Touch device. It also has the ability to validate things like face mask usage.
Additionally, Zoom also now supports real-time people count data. With supported cameras, you can see how many people are in a room, to ensure social distancing and prevent overcrowding.
Real Estate Optimisation
The ability to keep count of the number of people in a room, not onlymakes it easier to follow social distancing measures when it comes to room capacity, but it can help with real estate optimisation for facilities managers too.
Companies are able to see how and when specific spaces are in use, if they need more available rooms, or should divide an area into two because of over-occupancy.
We can expect further enhancements to the app in 2021, including enhanced voice commands and integrations with smart speaker systems
Indoor Air Quality Monitoring
The app can also now be used for indoor air quality monitoring. Partnering with Neat Sense, room sensors monitor air quality, humidity, CO2 levels and Volatile Organic Compounds. Accessible via theZoom dashboard, data on ambient noise and lighting conditions is also available.
The role of ventilation in the fight against COVID-19 is now a well established one, and higher humidity levels of between 30-60 per cent have been found to reduce the risk of viruses spreading. However, when the air in the room is dry, perhaps due to air conditioning, the transmission of viruses increases. Researchers for the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention found that when humidity levels were at 23 per cent , 70-77 per cent of virus particles could still cause infection an hour after someone coughing.
Ventilation measures are considered one of the most vital engineering mechanisms in infection control within buildings and research from REHA and CIBSE shows that adequate ventilation and effective air distribution can minimise the risk of cross-infection from 1.5 metres onward.
Further Updates in 2021
We can expect further enhancements to the app in 2021, including enhanced voice commands and integrations with smart speaker systems.
Annabelle Bexiga, CIO Advisor at Zoom, commented: “The pandemic pushed the pace of our digital evolution and a new component has taken root: the virtual process. Now organisations are analyzing their human interactions and separating activities into two categories — what needs to be done in-person and what can be done virtually.
“This stage of Digital Transformation 2.0 is already well underway, and what began as short-term reactions to pandemic lockdowns are likely to turn into long-term solutions with benefits for businesses and their customers.
Picture: a person using a laptop for a video call
Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 12 February 2021
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