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Consumer, business harmonize with Zoom on Amazon Echo Show
Zoom's integration with Amazon's Echo Show 10 means more people will turn to the consumer device for business video conferencing while working from home.
Zoom has come to the Amazon Echo Show 10 smart display, positioning the service well for a hybrid work environment in which devices must accommodate both enterprise and personal use.
Amazon announced this week that the latest Echo Show device supports Zoom and its video conferencing service, Amazon Chime. The company released the Echo Show 10, which features a 10-inch screen that rotates around a cylindrical base, in February for $250. Its predecessor, the Echo 8, gained Zoom capability in December.
According to Amazon, Echo Show 10 owners can direct the device's Alexa virtual assistant to join a Zoom meeting. If they have linked their calendars to Alexa, they can start scheduled meetings without having to touch the device to enter a meeting ID or passcode.
Zoom on the Echo Show 10 takes advantage of the device's rotation ability to keep people on camera and in frame. As such, people using the device during a meeting don't have to keep still to remain on screen.
Industry observers said getting on as many devices as possible is an intelligent strategy for Zoom. As hybrid work persists, workers will want specialty devices designed for video conferencing instead of just general-purpose computing hardware like laptops, said Gartner analyst Mike Fasciani. Purpose-built collaboration devices can provide clearer audio and higher-quality video.
However, workers and companies are leery of buying expensive, enterprise-class hardware for home use, said ZK Research founder Zeus Kerravala. Alternatively, it makes sense to offer video conferencing on appliances -- like the Echo Show, Facebook Portal and Google Nest -- that people already use to contact friends and family.
"Instead of people buying multiple devices to use at home, which I don't think they're going to do, this lets them use the devices they have," he said. "Anywhere I can do video, I should be able to do Zoom."
Fasciani said Zoom, as an enterprise collaboration vendor with relevance to consumers, is well-placed to take advantage of the hybrid workplace. People are more likely to use Zoom for a family gathering or happy hour with friends than Cisco Webex or Microsoft Teams. Putting Zoom on consumer devices like the Echo Show can feed into that preference and further enterprise adoption.
"Buyers that were previously working with other applications have now gravitated toward Zoom because of exposure to Zoom in their personal life," Fasciani said.
Mike Gleason is a reporter covering unified communications and collaboration tools. He previously covered communities in the MetroWest region of Massachusetts for the Milford Daily News, Walpole Times, Sharon Advocate and Medfield Press. He has also worked for newspapers in central Massachusetts and southwestern Vermont and served as a local editor for Patch. He can be found on Twitter at @MGleason_TT.