The coronavirus that sent Zoom usage up 10 times in less than a year wasn't foreseen, nor the need to have a dedicated video display that could handle one-touch setup for meetings and classes. The Echo Show 8 is the most economical of the units, at $99, followed by a starting price of $129 for the Portal Mini and $229 for the Nest Hub Max.
Jeff Smith, the head of Zoom Rooms, says users found it a “challenge” to make laptops and phones work during Zoom meetings, so the company wanted to make the experience more “natural” for them. Facebook says it hopes to have TV available by the end of the year, and Amazon says Zoom will come to other editions of the Echo Show.
To use the service, users will need to download a new Zoom app designed for smart display units and sign in. Echo Show units, the version of Amazon's connected speakers with screens, works with just Skype or Alexa-to-Alexa video calls.
Follow USA TODAY's Jefferson Graham (@Jeffersongraham) on Twitter or reach out via e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org If you're also tired of taking daily Zoom calls on your laptop, maybe you'd prefer to just turn on the TV, lay back, and learn or conduct business from the couch.
“I just believe that your big, beautiful TV is a great place for communications, and we're going to continue to lean in to make that a better experience well,” said Marc Written, vice president of Amazon Entertainment Devices and Services. While the sticks rely on a remote control for navigation, the Cube works solely by voice and also has a built-in speaker.
Beyond Zoom, the Fire TV Cube will also connect to Skype for video chats, and calls between Echo speakers. Zoom will also come to the smaller Echo Show 8, also later this year, to a unit that's currently available, along with Facebook's Portal video chat device and Google Nest Home Hub Max.
On Wednesday, Google will unveil its fall lineup, where it's expected to include an updated Home Hub, Pixel 5 smartphone and a new edition of the Chromecast streaming device. Rated: Guidance Suggested The content of this skill is appropriate for most users.
Account linking Advertisements User-generated content Personal information collection Location detection or location-based services Nudity or descriptions of nudity within medical, informational or artistic contexts Infrequent or mild references to cultural or religious intolerance Infrequent or mild realistic, cartoon, or fantasy violence or descriptions of violence Infrequent or mild references to alcohol, tobacco and drugs Infrequent or mild sexual and suggestive themes Infrequent use of mild profanity and crude humor Music and video skills may occasionally include strong profanity and sexual or suggestive themes Zoom is finally coming to Amazon Echo Show, Facebook Portal, and Google Nest Hub Max later this year.
The integration is going to make the video conferencing app more widely available and easily accessible due to the in-built touchscreen and mic present in the smart displays. Facebook Portal will be getting Zoom the earliest, with a rollout planned for September this year, reported The Verge.
He added that many users found laptops and phones pose some problems during their Zoom meetings, so the firm wanted to make the entire experience a bit more “natural”. The display’s ‘smart camera technology’ will make sure that your Zoom meeting frame has you at the center at all times.
For the best experience, the Fire HD 10 is the largest of the tablets, giving you a little more screen space as it has a 10.1-inch display. It also has stereo speakers, so will give you better sound than some smaller devices.
The Fire HD 8 offers a similar setup with great speakers too, but is a little smaller and a little more affordable, if you can find one. For the very cheapest, the Fire 7 will also give you access to Zoom, but the speakers aren't so good.
To make the most of the experience, you might also want to look at a case or stand so you don't have to hold the tablet all the time. Amazon account with access to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the Alexa for Business (A4B) web portal* Zoom account with permission to edit Zoom Rooms Windows 7 or later computer running the following software: AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell.
*Alexa for Business is currently only supported by Amazon within the United States. Perform each of the following steps for the first Echo device that you want to configure for Zoom Rooms.
Connect your Windows PC to the same Wi-Fi network as your Echo device. Follow the instructions in the Creation an IAM User for Device Setup Tool section of the Alexa for Business Administration Guide.
Sign in to your A4B web console with the credentials for the parent account. Click the setup.exe file to begin the installation of the Device Setup Tool.
Follow the voice instructions from your Echo device to complete the setup. Note: Instructions are available in the Managing Skill Groups section of the Alexa for Business Administration Guide.
Enter unique values for the Name and Description, then click Create. Select the Alexa For Zoom Rooms skill, then click the Add button.
Enable the Alexa For Zoom Rooms skill for your video conferencing equipment. Note: Instructions are available in the Managing Rooms section of the Alexa for Business Administration Guide.
Click the pencil icon to edit the skill configuration. Verify that the status is Synced in the Alexa Devices section of the page.
Verify that the parent account linked with scope value appears on the Skills page. Scroll to the Smart home devices section of the page.
Create or identify a separate Zoom room for each Echo device. (Optional) Associate a Google calendar to each Zoom room you create.
Sign in to your Zoom room with the credentials for the parent account. Choose the Zoom room name that you configured for Alexa.
The user says something similar to “Alexa, join the scheduled meeting.” Zoom locates the next upcoming meeting on the Google calendar that is associated with the Zoom room. If the user says “Yes”, Alexa says “Okay,” and that meeting is started in the Zoom room.
If the user says “No”, Alexa will ask “What is your Zoom meeting id?” Issue 2: Alexa cannot find an upcoming event that is on your calendar.
Issue 3: Alexa says “It looks like the conference provider is invalid” Resolution: Make sure you have the latest version of the Zoom Rooms software. Resolution: Make sure your network firewall is set up to allow the Alexa ports listed here.
“ Alexa, let’s start cooking.” It’s one thing for a smart home device to rattle off a list of ingredients and instructions for making a pie. And it’s another to be able to watch how to cut butter into flour or fold melted chocolate into whipped egg whites while you work.
Having a screen means you can stream TV and movies, chat on video calls, and even use it as an intercom when you connect to a supported smart doorbell system. The 2nd Gen model has a new design compared to the original Amazon Echo Show.
A fabric now covers the body in the back, giving a softer and homier feel. The 1,280×800 resolution LCD panel isn’t as high-end as the best tablets on the market, but given how you’re likely to use the Amazon Echo Show, it gets the job done.
The device also has volume controls on top, plus a privacy button to turn off the microphone and camera when you don’t want the Echo Show to see or hear you. While it’s pretty straightforward to figure out how to use Alexa, there are plenty of lesser-known tips, tricks, and hacks you should research while setting up a new Amazon Alexa-enabled device.
To set up the Amazon Echo Show, you need the Alexa app on a computer or mobile device. When deciding where to put the Echo Show, make sure that it’s at least a hand’s length away from any walls and windows so that it can hear you easily when you speak to it.
Follow a few prompts on the screen to set up the Wi-Fi connection, log into your Amazon account, install any firmware updates, and so forth. There’s an optional tutorial at the end of the setup process to help you get acquainted with your new device.
Since the screen is the real selling point of the Amazon Echo Show, there are a lot of clever ways to use it. When you want to make a recipe, the Echo Showmanship you step-by-step instructions with pictures and videos when they’re available.
Find the recipe you want to make and say, “Alexa, let’s start cooking.” As you get the instructions, you can move to the next step using only your voice. Second, you can connect your Skype account to make and receive calls through that app.
It works in the US, UK, Canada, India, Australia, and New Zealand, with support coming soon to Germany, Japan, Italy, Spain, and Mexico. The Echo Showman become the hub of your smart home so you can tell Alexa to turn the lights off or fire up the coffee pot.
It ships with Zigbee, which can control a wide range of smart light bulbs, plugs, switches, deadbolts, and other devices. Jill Duffy is a writer covering technology and personal productivity.