If Microsoft remains committed to delivering the best video conferencing experience while working from home, Zoom is ready to make its next move. The company today announced a new category of devices called "Zoom for Home," which includes both a new series of hardware devices as well as a software interface.
These devices have been designed specifically to bring professional tools to the remote working environment, but consumers can use them as well. Interestingly, the new Home category basically offers a complete collaboration setup for phone calls and video meetings, along with some additional features such as whiteboarding, content sharing, and co-annotation.
One of the key highlights of today's announcement is the "Zoom for Home DTEN ME" video chat device that preloads all the Zoom's smart features into it. The tablet-like device comes with a 27-inch touch display, three built-in wide-angle cameras, and an 8-microphone array to ensure a crystal-clear video/audio conferencing experience. Moreover, there is an HDMI input that can be used as a secondary monitor when needed. Notably, you won't need to manually configure it, and the hardware will be readily available to be used in your home offices.
The Zoom for Home DTEN ME will let you make phone calls, schedule meetings, and easily collaborate across different projects, and it will provide integrations with your calendar, status, contacts, and meeting settings. Here’s a video showing the device in action.
"We see the home office playing an integral role in the future of the workplace," explained Jeff Smith, head of Zoom Rooms. "As video meetings become more ubiquitous, we realized that having a personal collaboration device dedicated to the Zoom platform will provide home office workers with a tool to easily manage video meetings and help increase engagement, connection and collaboration."
The Zoom for Home DTEN ME is available for pre-order now for $599, and it’s expected to start shipping in August 2020. It definitely looks like an interesting device for this new work from home era, and it should be quite competitive next to the various Microsoft Teams certified devices from third-party manufacturers. These include affordable Desk phones and Teams displays, but maybe Microsoft could offer something really unique in that area.