Zoom is trying to tackle video meeting fatigue with new 3D animal avatars, which are now available for Zoom meetings and webinars. Once enabled, the new avatars will replace your face in a meeting with a virtual animal that will imitate your face movements and facial expressions, similar to Apple’s animated Memojis on iOS.
“Avatars are an easy and entertaining way to engage with attendees and create a bit of fun. They also provide a good middle ground for users who don’t want to appear on camera, but still want to express body language and facial expressions,” Zoom explained in the announcement.
While you may think that showing up in a Zoom video call as a virtual avatar may ruin your professional credibility, Zoom believes that its 3D avatars can serve as an ice breaker during meetings. The company also highlighted how using an animated appearance can make pediatric care less stressful with patients, or how teachers could use these avatars for storytelling purposes.
These new 3D avatars are available in the Zoom app for Windows, macOS, and iOS, and they can be easily found next to the app’s virtual backgrounds and video filters. Zoom’s new Avatars don’t use facial recognition technology, and the company also emphasized that “images of your face don’t leave your device when using this feature, and they are not stored or sent to Zoom.”
Zoom says that it’s starting with a small selection of animal avatars for now, but the company already plans to offer more animated avatar options in the future. Zoom remains one of the most popular video conferencing apps on the market, but it remains to be seen if these new 3D avatars can really make video meetings less stressful for users.
Tagged with Zoom