Zoom Announces Apple Vision Pro App With These New Features

Zoom Announces Apple Vision Pro App With These New Features

Zoom, the video conferencing platform, has unveiled a new app for the Apple Vision Pro. The app has added multiple new features for the mixed reality headset. The company claims that the app will make virtual meetings more immersive by including elements from the participants’ physical space. The Apple Vision Pro goes on sale in the US starting February 2, and the new Zoom app will be available to download from the App Store the same day.

In a post shared Monday, Zoom provided details on the app for the AR/VR headset and the new features that would be available for Vision Pro users. Notably, the app will make use of Apple’s Personas feature to let participants create a digital avatar for meetings. These avatars are created automatically by the Apple Vision Pro and use machine learning to replicate real-time movements and expressions. Alongside, it will also include a Spatial Zoom Experience feature.

The Apple Vision Pro starts at a price tag of $3,499 (roughly Rs. 2.9 lakh) for the 256GB inbuilt storage variant. The 512GB and the 1TB storage variants are also available for purchase at the price of $3,699 (roughly Rs. 3.07 lakh) and $3,899 (roughly Rs. 3.24 lakh), respectively.

Zoom app features on Apple Vision Pro

The Spatial Zoom Experience will let users scale virtual meeting rooms to real-life size to feel like they are sitting in the same space as their colleagues, friends and family. The company says this feature will make the remote meetings more immersive and collaborative in nature.

Apart from this, the video conferencing platform also revealed three other features that will be available in the months to come. The first among them is 3D Object Sharing, which will let users share 3D models of a design and let others view it from all angles. Highlighting an example, Zoom said, “An animator or game designer could collaborate and share the latest character model via Zoom’s 3D object sharing capabilities.”

Zoom Team Chat will also be added to the app in the first half of the year. Apple Vision Pro users will be able to easily communicate with teammates using the Team Chat feature. Finally, a real-world pinning feature will also be added which will let users pin up to five participants anywhere in their physical space. An option to remove the background of the participants will also be added to make them appear more immersive.


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Best Webcams for Teams, Zoom, Streaming, Low Light and More | Digital Trends

Best Webcams for Teams, Zoom, Streaming, Low Light and More | Digital Trends

Elgato

With working from home, attending online classes, and engaging in streaming now the norm, the best webcams are a necessity. If you’re still using a basic webcam or the one that’s built in your laptop, you may want to finally make an upgrade so that you can enjoy better video quality and more helpful features. Whether you want the absolute best webcam available, a webcam for a specific purpose, or a webcam on a budget, below are our recommendations.

The best webcam

  • Best webcam overall:

  • Best webcam for online meetings:

  • Best webcam for streaming:

  • Best webcam for low light:

  • Best webcam on a budget:

How to choose a webcam

Webcams come in all shapes and sizes, and they offer different features according to their price and purpose. Among the things that you need to consider when choosing a webcam to buy include resolution, built-in microphones, support for facial recognition technology, automatic low-light correction, and privacy shutters. What you need from your webcam will largely depend on how you’ll use it most often, so select the option with the features that you think you’ll be able to maximize.

There’s a wide range of prices for webcams, so you can get one for a low price, or one with all of the features but at a relatively higher cost. You’ll want to determine how much you’re willing to pay for your new webcam, and you should maximize your budget so that you can get the best possible option that you can afford.

How we chose these webcams

For our recommendations of the best webcams, we went with some of the most trusted brands in the business because we place a premium on reliability and the latest technology that these companies provide. We also selected webcams with high ratings, but since they’re well-reviewed, that means stocks may sell out at any moment. If you’re sold on any of these webcams, you need to complete your transaction as soon as possible.

Logitech Brio

Logitech Brio
Brad Bourque/Digital Trends / Digital Trends
Pros Cons
Supports 4K resolution Relatively expensive
Automatic light adjustments
Noise-canceling microphones
Windows Hello integration

The main selling point of the Logitech Brio is that it supports 4K resolution, which means you’ll look your absolute best with sharp details and vivid colors. The webcam also offers automatic light adjustments, especially during low-light and backlit situations, and built-in omnidirectional microphones with noise-canceling technology. The Logitech Brio may be integrated with the Windows Hello facial recognition system, and it also comes with a privacy shade that you can flip down to cover the lens when it’s not in use.

Specifications
Connectivity USB
Flash memory Micro SD
Resolution 4K

Logitech C920S Pro

The Logitech C920S Pro webcam on a white background.
Logitech
Pros Cons
Full HD resolution No 4K quality
Dual microphones
Works fine in low-light environments
Privacy shutter

The Logitech C920S Pro is a Full HD webcam with dual microphones that capture natural stereo audio while filtering our background noise, which makes it perfect for joining online meetings through teleconferencing apps such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom. You can use the Logitech C920S Pro to record videos for purposes such as demos and showcases, and it also works in low-light situations so you don’t need to edit the footage to increase brightness. The Logitech C920S Pro also comes with a privacy shutter for your peace of mind against hackers.

Specifications
Connectivity USB
Flash memory Micro SD
Resolution Full HD

Elgato Facecam

The Elgato Facecam webcam on a white background.
Elgato
Pros Cons
Full HD resolution PC needs to handle uncompressed video
CMOS sensor optimized for indoors
Custom heat sink
Elgato’s Camera Hub software

If you want to create streaming content for any platform, the Elgato Facecam is your best bet. With Full HD resolution, the Sony STARVIS CMOS sensor that’s optimized for indoor use, and an advanced image engine that creates uncompressed video without artifacts, you’ll be able to stream with top-quality video. The Elgato Facecam also features a custom heat sink that will prevent overheating even after several hours of streaming, and the settings that you can access on the brand’s Camera Hub software makes it very easy to create the perfect shot.

Specifications
Connectivity USB
Flash memory SD
Resolution Full HD

Razer Kiyo

The Razer Kiyo webcam with its light turned on.
Razer
Pros Cons
Built-in ring light Not all people need a ring light
Adjust brightness through rotating bezel
Full HD resolution
Compact folding design

For those who prefer working or streaming in the dark, you should think about getting the Razer Kiyo. The brightness of the built-in 5600K ring light surrounding the webcam’s Full HD lens may be adjusted by rotating its bezel, so you’ll always get the perfect lighting. It’s an excellent choice for influencers who need the illumination to showcase product unboxings, technical instructions, and similar streams, and once you’re down with it, the compact folding design of the Razer Kiyo means you can easily store it until the next time you need it.

Specifications
Connectivity USB
Flash memory Micro SD
Resolution Full HD

Logitech C270

Logitech C270 HD Webcam.
Logitech
Pros Cons
Built-in microphone Up to HD resolution only
Light correction
Works well with teleconferencing apps
Secure mounting clip

Do you just need a simple webcam, but you want to make the most out of your tight budget? You should go for the Logitech C270, which offers HD resolution for video calls and recording, a built-in microphone with noise-reducing technology, and light correction capabilities. Despite its low price, it works amazingly well with teleconferencing apps such as Skype, and it comes with a secure mounting clip that securely attaches to your monitor or laptop.

Specifications
Connectivity USB
Flash memory SDHC, SDXC
Resolution HD

This article is managed and created separately from the Digital Trends Editorial team.

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Apple TV with Zoom means it’s finally time to call your mother | Digital Trends

Apple TV with Zoom means it’s finally time to call your mother | Digital Trends

Zoom on Apple TV uses your iPhone as a camera (sweet dog blanket not included). Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

Zoom is now available on Apple TV, complete with Continuity Camera. That means you can use your iPhone camera as, well, the camera and your TV as the screen on which to see the folks on the other side of the call. And because Zoom is a cross-platform app, it means you don’t have anymore excuses for your Android-wielding family.

All of which means: it’s time to call your mother.

OK, so there have been other ways to call home via video, of course, even using your iPhone in conjunction with Apple TV. FaceTime has worked on tvOS with Continuity Camera with the rollout of tvOS 17. And it’s very cool. But if you’re looking to talk with someone who isn’t on an iPhone, or who just prefers a different app for this sort of thing? Zoom is going to be a very cool option.

And because we’re talking about Continuity Camera and not just static lens that’s pointed in your general direction, it’ll zoom in on most important face (or faces, if you’ve got the family on the couch with you), and even track your ugly mug if and when you start to drift a little bit.

There’s not much you have to do to get things going. It just requires Zoom on your Apple TV — which, by the way, is our pick for the best streaming device — and then a few taps to get things going (you don’t even have to log in if you don’t want to). Then you approve using your phone as the camera, and Bob’s your uncle.

One strong recommendation, though: If you’re at all serious about this sort of thing — whether using Zoom or any other video calling app with Apple TV, and whether you’re alone or with family — spend a few bucks and invest in a basic tripod that’ll hold your phone. Nobody wants motion sickness because you’re weaving all over the place. And going hands-free lets you pay more attention to what’s really important — the family on the other side of the call.

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How to send animated reactions on FaceTime with iOS 17

How to send animated reactions on FaceTime with iOS 17

Apple’s latest iOS 17 update has introduced FaceTime Reactions, which are animated effects that pop up on your screen during a video chat. These reactions are like the ones commonly used in Messages with other iPhone users, such as hearts, fireworks and thumbs-ups. These can sometimes serve as expressive substitutes for written responses or, in the case of FaceTime, punctuate your body language with 3D animations.

However, during video calls, these animated effects are a little different. You can activate them manually or using hand gestures. For example, you can create a heart shape with your hands and little red hearts will start erupting from the middle. Or you can toss up dual metal signs to get a laser light show. These 3D animated reactions will also show up in macOS Sonoma and iPadOS 17.

If you haven’t yet explored this feature, this step-by-step guide will walk you through how to make the most of FaceTime Reactions in your calls.

How to manually trigger an effect on FaceTime and video calls

The most reliable way to make a visual reaction appear on screen during a FaceTime call is by pressing down on your picture during a call. This will force a popup menu to appear above you. You will see eight reactions to choose from.

You can select the thumbs-up or the thumbs-down icon to make a bubble with the respective symbol appear next to your face. Tap the heart and a trail of red hearts will appear on screen. To showcase your excitement, you can select the balloon icon or the confetti symbol to trigger a colorful on-screen display. Like in Messages, you can trigger a funky fireworks or laser beam show. Maybe you’re feeling down? You can make the screen turn dark and gloomy when you tap the rain icon.

Malak Saleh

With each symbol you select, the on-screen effect will last a few seconds for you and whoever is on the other side of the FaceTime call.

How to use hand gestures to trigger an effect on FaceTime and video calls

Rather than relying on manual taps, you can also activate these animated effects with specific gestures, although some may be more intuitive than others. For the most part, they worked as expected, even when I had a Memoji filter on. For instance, you can create a thumbs-up or thumbs-down bubble on the screen by performing the corresponding gesture – easy enough.

Hearts animated reaction on FaceTime

Malak Saleh

If you give a double thumbs-up with both hands, your screen goes dark, and you’ll get fireworks popping in the background. On the flip side, if you do a double thumbs-down, you’ll see a rainy animation take over the screen. And, if you’re feeling lovey-dovey and make a heart shape with your hands, your screen will light up with a bunch of heart emojis where your palms are.

FaceTime screen grab

Malak Saleh

While it might not be immediately obvious, throwing up a peace sign will fill your screen with a bunch of colorful floating balloons. Make it two peace signs and party confetti will appear, perfect for a celebratory mood. Now, for the trickiest one: if you want to see the laser light show appear, you’ll need to throw up two metal horns (🤘🤘).

Fireworks reaction

Malak Saleh

How to use iOS 17 FaceTime gestures (and what they look like) | Digital Trends

How to use iOS 17 FaceTime gestures (and what they look like) | Digital Trends

Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

Thanks to new features in iOS 17, your FaceTime calls and other online video meetings are about to get much more fun. The powerful new silicon in Apple’s recent iPhone models has made it possible for Apple to create a new feature that not only lets you send cool 3D animations like balloons, confetti, and fireworks to your friends — but it even lets you trigger them with natural physical gestures.

While the new FaceTime gestures, which Apple officially calls “reactions,” are pretty easy to use once you get the hang of it, not all the gestures that trigger these reactions are immediately obvious. Plus, you’ll need to make sure a few other things are ready to go beyond simply updating to iOS 17. Let’s dive in and take a look at how this cool new feature works.

How to make a FaceTime gesture in iOS 17

Video reactions in macOS Sonoma, with the balloons effect in use.
Alex Blake / Digital Trends

For the most part, Apple’s gesture-based video reactions just work — and not only as FaceTime gestures; you can trigger them in almost any video conferencing app that supports the standard iPhone camera APIs, including Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, and Zoom. It’s not even necessary for the other party (or parties) to be running iOS 17 or even using an iPhone or other Apple device, as all the effects are generated on your own iPhone and sent over as part of the video stream.

This means you’ll need an iPhone 12 or newer model to use FaceTime gestures and video reactions. That’s not merely a function of the more powerful A14 chip used in that model but also the TrueDepth camera that gained some significant improvements over the iPhone 11 and those that came before. It’s no coincidence that the iPhone 12 is also the oldest model that supports mask-aware Face ID.

This is because the video reaction effects triggered by FaceTime gestures aren’t just overlaid in front of your face. Instead, they’re immersive three-dimensional effects that use the same kind of depth measurements as Portrait Mode photos to put you in the middle of the action. Balloons will float up around your head, fireworks will explode behind you, and confetti will drop surrounding you.

If you have an iPhone 12 or later (excluding the iPhone SE), and you’ve upgraded to iOS 17, there’s one more thing you need to check to ensure that FaceTime gestures are enabled.

  1. While on a video call in FaceTime or another compatible video conferencing app, swipe down from the top-right corner of your screen to open Control Center.
  2. You should see two extra buttons at the top, above the normal controls for Airplane mode and Now Playing. Select Video Effects
  3. Under your camera preview, ensure that the Reactions button is enabled.
  4. Swipe up to dismiss Control Center.
Enabling FaceTime Gestures and Video Reactions in iOS 17.
Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

Note that these steps are only needed to enable the recognition of hand gestures. You can turn Reactions off in step 3 instead if you find they’re getting in the way; you’ll still be able to send video reactions in FaceTime manually even when this is off, although you won’t be able to trigger them in other video conferencing apps like Teams and Zoom.

What FaceTime gestures can you make in iOS 17?

Sending video reactions in FaceTime on iOS 17.
Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

If you’re using FaceTime, you can manually trigger video reactions by long-pressing your video preview tile in the call. A list of buttons will pop up showing all eight possible reactions. Select any one of these to activate it.

However, the real fun part of video reactions comes from using FaceTime gestures, which allow you to add animated effects more naturally without touching your iPhone. They’re also the only way to trigger these video reaction effects when using third-party video conferencing apps.

Here are the eight possible effects and the gestures you can use to trigger them. Note that you’ll need to hold your hands at least a few inches away from your face and pause for a moment or two to activate the reaction effect. This ensures it’s only triggered by a relatively deliberate attempt. However, you don’t have to jerk your hands into position or make any other rapid movements, as it’s not the motion your iPhone is looking for, merely the gesture.

Thumbs-up

iOS 17 FaceTime Gesture Thumbs Up.
Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

The first gesture is very intuitive. Just stick up your thumb with your hand a few inches away from your face and leave it there for a second or two, and you’ll see a thumbs-up bubble animate beside your head.

Thumbs-down

iOS 17 FaceTime Gesture Thumbs Down.
Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

Like the thumbs-up, the thumbs-down is easier to figure out and works the same way.

Hearts

iOS 17 FaceTime Gesture Hearts.
Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

This one is easy to figure out once you know it’s there. Take two hands and make a heart gesture with the thumbs at the bottom point, and floating red hearts will emanate from the center of your hands.

Fireworks

iOS 17 FaceTime Gesture Fireworks.
Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

A single thumbs up is a “like,” but if you’re excited enough to put two thumbs up at the same time, you’ll get a burst of fireworks going off behind your head.

Rain

iOS 17 FaceTime Gesture Rain.
Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

While it’s not the first thing that comes to mind if you really disapprove of an idea, two thumbs down will cast down some rain on your parade.

Balloons

iOS 17 FaceTime Gesture Balloons.
Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

The next few gestures get a bit more obscure as there’s no apparent relationship between the gesture and the effect. The first of these is a two-fingered “peace” sign that triggers colored balloons floating up around you. Note that your hand needs to be facing palm-forward to start this one, with the back of your hand toward your face. Your thumb must also be folded in.

Confetti

iOS 17 FaceTime Gesture Confetti.
Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

Think of this one as “balloons times two,” as it’s essentially the same two-fingered gesture, but now done with both hands.

Laser Burst

iOS 17 FaceTime Gesture Laser burst.
Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

The last and perhaps most challenging to figure out of Apple’s FaceTime gestures is the Laser Burst, which is triggered by holding up two hands palm-forward with the index finger and little finger up in a “sign of the horns” rock-n’-roll salute. As with the two-finger gestures, your thumbs must also be tucked in for your iPhone to recognize this one.

FaceTime gestures can also be recognized and used on supported iPad models running iPadOS 17 and Apple silicon Macs running macOS Sonoma. Any video reactions you send will be visible to everybody in the call, regardless of the platform they’re using. However, they’ll only be able to respond with a FaceTime gesture if they’re using a supported iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

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Zoom calls are coming to Sony TVs | Digital Trends

Zoom calls are coming to Sony TVs | Digital Trends

Dan Baker/Digital Trends

Sony and Zoom Video Communications — the company behind the popular video calling platform — have announced a partnership that will bring the Google TV version of the Zoom app to select Sony Bravia TVs. Owners of these TVs will also need Sony’s Bravia Cam accessory to take advantage of the feature.

This isn’t the first time that we’ve been able to do Zoom calls from a TV. In 2021, Amazon was the first company to provide a way to Zoom on the big screen, using its Fire TV Cube and a compatible Logitech webcam. Later that same year, Amazon added the feature to its newly-released Omni TVs.

However, Sony says the collaboration makes Sony’s Bravia the first TV brand to support the Zoom for TV app from the Google Play Store — effectively making this the first Zoom instance on a Google TV.

Zoom on Bravia TVs includes video communication, screen sharing, and collaboration tools. To get going, you’ll need a $198 and a compatible Sony Bravia TV. These include the following 2023 models:

  • X95L
  • X93L
  • A80L
  • X90L
  • X85L
  • X80L
  • X75L

And these 2022 models:

  • Z9K
  • A95K
  • X95K
  • A90K
  • A80K
  • A75K
  • X90K
  • X90S
  • X85K
  • X80K

Some of these models, like QD-OLED A95K, come with a Bravia Cam from the factory. Once the cam is connected to your TV, you’ll be able to download and install the Zoom app from the Google Play store with your remote. However, you’ll need to wait — Sony says the app will be available “by early summer,” but it did not say exactly when that will be.

If you don’t already own a Bravia Cam, it’s a pricey upgrade compared to many webcams on the market, but Sony promises you’ll be able to do more than just Zoom calls once it’s installed.

Features like Ambient Optimization Pro can recognize where you are in the room and how far you are from the TV and adjust sound and picture settings accordingly. Gesture Control lets you perform certain functions without the remote just by using your arms. Proximity Alert detects when kids sit too close, and Auto Power Saving Mode dims the screen when nobody is watching.

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