The era of virtual meetings has been evolving every few months, with augmented reality filters leading the charge in changing the way we interact when chatting via video streams.
Now Zoom, the current leader in the virtual meetings space, has changed the game again by bring a new kind of immersiveness to virtual meetings with Immersive View.
The new feature was officially launched on Monday and allows all participants in a Zoom meeting to put themselves in a virtual environment together on-screen for the first time.
Currently, the feature allows up to 25 people to occupy the same virtual space at the same time, which means that this immediately becomes a tool that even major conferences can use to hold speaker panels, for example.
We saw an early version of what this kind of immersive video meeting might be like with the debut of the Mmhmm app, which also works with Zoom. The founder of Mmhmm, Phil Libin (a new member of the NR30), recently showed off his app's "teleport mode" which allows a user to join another user in a virtual room.
But Zoom obviously has a much larger embedded customer base compared to the new upstart app, and the ability to add an entire 25-person team to a single virtual room is a powerful tool that could completely transform the virtual meetings landscape. I can also imagine podcast hosts and traditional news hosts in two separate locations using this feature to lead a show from the same virtual studio.
If you have more than 25 people in your Zoom meeting, the additional participants will show up as a thumbnail strip on the top of your screen. The only weak point with Immersive View is that it doesn't offer the native ability to record such meetings (yet). To start, the feature offers stock backgrounds, but you also have the option to use your own still or video background.
The new feature is available immediately for free for MacOS and Windows desktops running Zoom 5.6.3 or higher.