Zoom, whose fortunes have boomed during the work-from-home shift accelerated by COVID-19, has introduced its first piece of hardware meant to capitalize on the trend.
Zoom for Home is an entirely new business line for the company, encompassing both software and compatible hardware. Its first device, priced at $599, is the Zoom for Home – DTEN ME. Built by communications tech startup DTEN, it is a 27-inch, all-in-one device with three built-in cameras for video, eight microphones and a touch display that can serve as a second monitor.
“Remote work and distance education are becoming increasingly prevalent in businesses and schools across the globe,” Jeff Smith, head of Zoom Rooms, wrote in a blog post. “Organizations must ensure that their staff have the tools they need to get the best possible communications experience at home.”
Zoom from Home has set integrations with companies like Neat and Poly to offer other ingredients of the remote-work setup, including speakers, headsets and document scanning.
After an initial public offering in the spring of 2019, Zoom stock has more than tripled in 2020, reaching $250 a share. While the company’s signature Zoom Meetings video application has been shown to have security flaws, it has nonetheless become synonymous with doing business during the pandemic.
Zoom is betting that its game-changing year is setting a template for what it calls “the future of knowledge work.” In announcing Zoom from Home, the company predicted that most workplaces will be a hybrid of virtual and in-person experiences. It cited a recent IBM study in which 81% of respondents (up from 75% in April) indicated they want to continue working remotely at least some of the time. About 61% indicated that they would like it to become their primary way of working.
“Major corporations around the globe have already indicated that they do not foresee a return to pre-COVID ways of working,” the company proclaimed. In the tech sector, that is certainly holding true, with Apple this week saying workers should work from home for the rest of 2020. Facebook has gone even further, setting a more sweeping, permanent shift to remote work. ViacomCBS on Wednesday told employees to expect to work remotely for the rest of the year.