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Zoom launches New Immersive View

Zoom is rolling out a new video background feature called Immersive View that could make video calls feel like an office meeting or at least look a lot more like one. The company announced the feature at itstopia conference, but now it’s available for Free and Pro accounts attending meetings and webinars with up to 25 participants.

This Immersive View builds on the virtual background features that focus on actually placing meeting attendees in a realistic-looking location, rather than just switching out a flat background. Meeting hosts can enable Immersive View from the same menu where you can find Speaker View and Gallery View; from there, Zoom will automatically place attendees in a variety of built-in virtual scenes like a board room or auditorium, or the meeting host can manually place them themselves.

Zoom says that they can also resize attendees, move them around the scene, and upload their scenes. Any image could be used as an Immersive View background, but Zoom says matching the file type, aspect ratio, and resolution recommendations it has for virtual backgrounds will produce the best results.This feature has some notable limitations. For calls larger than 25 people, the remaining participants will hang out in a strip of video thumbnails at the top of the scene. Also, for anyone not running the latest version of desktop or mobile, the background will default to whatever setting it was on before Immersive View was turned on.

Despite these hurdles, major businesses including Salesforce, Microsoft, Shopify, VMware, Dropbox, and Fujitsu have already confirmed a permanent shift to a remote-first or hybrid working policy. But better and more adaptable virtual collaboration tools will prove vital to the long-term success of these programs Zoom fatigue is real.

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