Zoom has undoubtedly been one of the big winners of the global pandemic that has kept much of the global workforce home. The San Jose-headquartered video communication company’s shares have risen roughly fourfold since the start of the year. To capitalize on its platform’s rapid growth, Zoom today announced that it will bundle software and hardware 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. But Zoom for Home is squarely aimed at bringing professional tools to the home-working environment.
Zoom for Home basically preloads all the Zoom software smarts onto a tablet-like device, enabling users to easily begin or schedule meetings, make phone calls, and collaborate across projects, including sharing and annotating content. It also integrates with each user’s calendar, status, contacts, and meeting settings.
To begin, users can log into a Zoom for Home-compatible device with their usual Zoom credentials. The new offering will work with all Zoom Meeting licenses — from basic (free) to enterprise.
Only one official Zoom for Home-compatible device is available at launch. The DTEN ME sports a 27-inch touchscreen, three wide-angle high-resolution cameras, and an 8-mic array touch display, and it ships with DTEN OS. The DTEN ME is available to buy on preorder now for $599 and is expected to start shipping in August.
Zoom for Home is separate from 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, and users have to buy an add-on to use the hardware in conjunction with their phone. Perhaps most importantly, only IT admins are able to set up these devices.
Zoom for Home, on the other hand, was designed specifically for the home user, whether a freelancer or an office worker forced into lockdown. It doesn’t require any special license (free or paid), it can integrate with the user’s phone plan, and anyone can purchase a device and easily set it up.
Zoom for Home is also compatible with Zoom Room Appliances, meaning home-based workers who want a greater choice of devices — including giant wall-mounted displays — have options.
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