- Users can move between different meetings in the same virtual “room”.
- Participants can see everyone and move between conversations naturally.
- The Welo app is currently in its beta testing phase.
Video platform, Zoom, announced on Thursday some new updates and features to its apps ecosystem to foster collaboration and creativity in virtual meetings. The web conferencing platform said in a blog post that metaverse-like features will be coming to Zoom via its new visual workspace, Welo.
Welo is a visual workspace application that allows users to virtually recreate collaborative physical spaces, including actual rooms. Everyone is represented in the space, allowing participants to see others and move between conversations naturally like they would in person. To do so, users can simply command their Welo avatar to walk over to another group of colleagues.
Participants can use Welo’s built-in facilitation capabilities and embed key information resources into rooms for easy access by all to make meetings run smoothly. Teams can take advantage of built-in experiences to address common challenges.
Welo also incorporates Breakout Rooms, a feature for smaller, focused discussions. Participants in the meeting can People in the meeting can move between Breakouts to conversations naturally. Conversations can be broadcast to individuals or the whole group.
The new metaverse-like feature also consists of ready to use collaborative tools. These include the ability to embed agendas, instructions, and links in breakout rooms, as well as integration with tools like Miro and Google Docs for real-time collaboration in the same window.
The Welo app is currently in its beta testing phase, with full functionalities to be made available later. With Zoom rolling out metaverse features in online meeting spaces, the platform is set to compete with Microsoft Mesh for Teams, a collaboration and communications platform announced in Nov 2021.
Currently available in limited preview, Mesh is accessible through mixed reality applications and VR headsets. It enables users to connect with each other via a holographic presence from different locations around the world.
Last year, Facebook also announced its Horizons Workrooms, a metaverse workspace for VR collaboration. While both Horizons Workrooms and Microsoft Mesh require VR headsets to access the platforms, Zoom’s Welo does not.
Unlike Zoom, Microsoft and Meta, Google has yet to integrate metaverse features into its video conferencing platform, Google Meet. However, Google is developing its own AR/VR headset, indicating plans to enter the metaverse.
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