Zoom launches first Smart TV app on Amazon Fire TV

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Zoom debuted on Amazon Fire TV Omni. One of the new Fire TVs produced by Amazon, the Omni allows users to join a Zoom call without a remote, turning the TV into a professional tool.

ZoomTV

Fire TV Omni owners should connect a webcam to the TV and download the Zoom app from the TV’s app store. Once configured, the user can open the app and log in like on a computer or smart display. The Omni is unique among Fire TVs in that it features a far-field microphone for hands-free voice control via Alexa. While the Omni can connect to other smart home devices that use Alexa, including speakers, the Zoom app is limited to using the TV’s own speakers at this time. The app is also only available in the US and Canada at this time.

“Joining work meetings or vacation gatherings remotely from the comfort of your couch just got a whole lot easier,” Amazon explained in its announcement. “Once you’re signed in to Zoom or accessing it as a guest, join a meeting using your remote or say, ‘Alexa, join my Zoom meeting’.”

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Amazon has been increasing its devices with Zoom since the COVID-19 pandemic led to a huge surge in Zoom meetings last year, starting with making Zoom available on camera-enabled Alexa devices like the Echo Show smart displays. In August, Amazon connected Zoom to the Fire TV Cube via the Fire TV Zoom. The app displays all of the user’s contacts and upcoming meetings, with the option to join or start them. Users can also link their Zoom calendar to Alexa so that asking the voice assistant to join their Zoom meeting prompts Alexa to list relevant meetings from the calendar and automatically connect when the user says yes to the meeting to which he tries to join.

Zoom’s growth has recently extended its services to many other devices beyond Amazon, including Facebook Portal and Google Nest Hub Max smart displays. These do not include Alexa’s voice assistant commands, however, Zoom has sought third-party arrangements to handle some of the feature requests, such as Dubber’s conversation transcription and analysis or the voice assistant. Virtual Otter that runs silently in the background of meetings, records and transcribes audio, and takes notes in real time. On the Zoom Rooms side and their voice commands, the platform integrated Alexa for Business in April. However, the company brought some of the features in-house, like buying AI-powered translation startup Kites, though plans to acquire the $14.7 billion digital contact center Five9 have terminated after a shareholder vote.

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