US-based video-conferencing platform, Zoom is rolling out a new feature called ‘Immersive View’, a video background feature that aims to mimic in-person meetings and make video calls feel a bit more like an office.
Zoom first introduced the Immersive View at its Zoomtopia conference last year. The demo then showcased the use case for a classroom or courtroom like the layout. The feature is now available to all users, including free and Pro. It works with meetings and webinars with up to 25 participants.
Immersive View builds on the virtual background features Zoom already has, but now it aims at actually placing meeting attendees in a realistic-looking location, rather than just switching out a flat background. Meeting hosts can enable the Immersive View through the menu in which both Speaker View and Gallery View modes are available.
Once the host turns on the Immersive View, Zoom automatically places attendees in different virtual scenes such as an auditorium or board room or the meeting hosts can manually place the participants.
The host can also resize attendees, move them around the scene, and upload scenes if got bored of Zoom’s options. Even though any image could be used as an Immersive View background, Zoom says matching the file type, aspect ratio and resolution recommendations will give the best results.
“When Immersive View is enabled, those on Zoom desktop and mobile apps that do not support Immersive View will continue to see other meeting participants in either Gallery View or Speaker View, just with a simple black background. Others in the meeting will still view these unsupported participants in the Immersive View scene with their original backgrounds,” Zoom explains.
However, the new feature comes with a few limitations as well. For instance, calls that have more than 25 participants, remaining attendees will appear in a strip of video thumbnails at the top. The recordings of Immersive View meetings will appear in Zoom’s default Speaker or Gallery View. The Immersive View is not available in Breakout Rooms.