Zoom is bringing a new addition to its platform that is going to make video calls feel or look like office meetings with a new virtual background feature for the videos. The feature is called Immersive View and it was announced last year at Zoom’s Zoomtopia conference. The company has now launched it for Free and Pro accounts attending meetings and webinars with up to 25 participants.
While Zoom already has a bunch of virtual background features, this one will give a more realistic appearance to participants in the video call, making them feel like they are actually present at a workplace location.
Immersive View can be turned on by the meeting host from the menu, where other options like Speaker View and Gallery View are displayed. By enabling the option, attendees of the meeting will be automatically placed in a variety of built-in virtual scenes like a board room or auditorium. The meeting host can also manually place the attendees in the scenes.
There will be other control options for Immersive View, such as resizing attendees, moving them around the scene, and uploading your own scene to try something different than the options given by Zoom. According to Zoom, in order to have the best results, it is important to adjust and match the file type, aspect ratio, and resolution of the image that you want to use as an Immersive View background.
There are also some limitations to the feature. For instance, for calls larger than 25 people, the remaining participants will be shown in a strip of video thumbnails at the top of the scene.
Although the feature itself is impressive, it isn’t something new to other video call platforms like Microsoft Teams and Skype. Microsoft introduced a similar feature called Together Mode for both Teams and Skype in 2020, which lets participants experience the same virtual scene together.