Will home offices have room for a new piece of equipment? Videoconferencing company Zoom is entering the hardware business with a $599 tablet-like device for scheduling meetings, making video calls, and annotating and sharing content.
The device, called Zoom for Home-DTEN ME, has a 27-inch touchscreen, three wide-angle cameras, and eight microphones.
The new Zoom for Home product, which may be the first of several, is the result of a collaboration with DTEN, a San Jose-based company that typically makes products for conference rooms and classrooms.
“After experiencing remote work ourselves for the past several months, it was clear that we needed to innovate a new category dedicated to remote workers,” said Eric S. Yuan, Zoom CEO. “I’m so proud of the team for continuing to think outside the box and prove why Zoom is the best unified communications platform that can meet the needs of all types of users.”
The device will work with an existing Zoom account and provide access to standard Zoom features. The user doesn’t need to have a paid subscription or a Zoom Meeting license. It also integrates with the user’s calendar, status, contacts, and meeting settings.
According to Nicole Lee of Engadget, the Zoom for Home system “is very much geared toward video-conferencing and not much else. … It lacks some of the more consumer-focused features like YouTube, weather, smart home controls, and photo album integrations. It also doesn’t have voice commands like Google Assistant or Alexa.”
Zoom has other features for the device on the drawing board, Jeff Smith, the head of Zoom Rooms, told Engadget, including the face-tracking technology on Google’s Nest Hub Max that automatically recognizes the user from facial features.
The Zoom for Home-DTEN ME can be pre-ordered and will start shipping in August.