Zoom is launching a video background feature called Immersive View that can make video calls feel more like office meetings-or at least look more like them. Last year, Zoom announced this feature at its Zoomtopia conference, but now it is starting to apply to free and professional accounts for conferences and webinars, with up to 25 participants.
The immersive view is built on the existing virtual background function of Zoom, but the focus is to actually place the conference platform in a place that looks real, rather than just switch to a flat background. The meeting host can enable “Immersive View” in the same menu where you can find “Lecturer View” and “Gallery View”; there, Zoom will automatically place participants in various built-in virtual scenes, such as meetings Room or auditorium, or the meeting host can place them manually.
The host can also adjust the size of the attendees, move them in the scene, and upload their own scenes if they are bored with the Zoom options. In theory, any picture can be used as the background of the immersive view, but Zoom said that matching its file type, aspect ratio and resolution recommendations for the virtual background will produce the best results.
Immersive views also have some obvious limitations. For calls with more than 25 people, the remaining participants will be suspended in the video thumbnail bar at the top of the scene. In addition, for those who are not running the latest version of Zoom on the desktop or mobile, the background will default to the setting before the immersive view is turned on.
Therefore, if you are not using the updated Zoom client, your friends may have a meeting in an art gallery, but all you see are the usual squares and the black background behind other participants. Records of immersive view meetings have encountered similar problems; they will be recorded in Zoom’s standard view instead of an interesting virtual scene.