Zoom announces end-to-end encryption, customizable SDKs and more at Zoomtopia


Zoom’s two-day online conference kicked off with a bevy of new product announcements around security and developer enhancements.

The new Zapps apps on Zoom.

Image: Zoom

During the keynote at Zoom’s Zoomtopia conference on Wednesday, new features were announced including end-to-end encryption, OnZoom, customizable SDKs, a new way for developers to create apps and unified communications platform enhancements. 

“Zoom is for you, our courageous, hardworking, and creative community of users, and so is Zoomtopia. We have been working hard to create a world-class, value-filled virtual event. We have also been planning, preparing, and delivering on the promise of Zoom to best serve you,” said CEO Eric Yuan during the keynote. “One thing we’ve learned in this challenging time is that remote work does work. The future will bring a hybrid of the best of in-person and virtual communications. The announcements we make today at Zoomtopia demonstrate that Zoom is built for this moment and beyond. We have the platform to support what the world needs – today, tomorrow, and well into the future.”

Zoomtopia is a two-day user conference being held online on Oct. 14-15. The conference is free to the public.

SEE: Zoom 101: A guidebook for beginners and business pros (TechRepublic Premium)

Zoom’s end-to-end encryption (E2EE) feature

The E2EE feature will be available in technical preview to free and paid Zoom users starting the week of Oct. 18-24. This feature can be enabled at the account, group, and user level. If set up this way, it can be toggled on and off by the host on a per-meeting basis. When it is enabled, this feature encrypts communication between meeting participants using cryptographic keys known only to the devices of the meeting participants.

New customizable SDK on Zoom

Zoom is also adding enhancements to its SDKs. This will enable developers and companies to improve their custom video-based applications with Zoom’s platform, which is available on Android, iOS and web. 

OnZoom online event platform and marketplace

Zoom also unveiled a public beta for OnZoom, an online events platform and marketplace for paid Zoom users who want to create, host and monetize classes, concerts or fundraisers via the Zoom Meetings platform. Users can list and sell tickets to events via OnZoom for up to 100 to 1,000 attendees depending on their Zoom Meeting license. Pledgeling will be the first donation app on the Zoom App Marketplace with Donations by Pledgeling. 

Zapps apps to use within the Zoom platform

Zoom is introducing Zapps apps so that developers can create apps to use as part of workflows before, during, and after meetings. Zoom is allowing first and third-party developed apps in the meeting experience for real-time adoption. This will give developers a fast and flexible web view canvas to create apps, viral distribution, and IT deployment and manageability. Developers won’t need to switch between multiple applications on their desktop. They’ll be able to navigate apps within the Zoom interface to streamline permissions, grant document accessibility and collaborate on screen. 

The first Zapps will be distributed in the Zoom experience by the end of year and open to developers soon afterward, according to a Zoom blog. There are more than 25 launch partners building Zapps for Zoom, including Atlassian, Asana, Box, Dropbox, Slack and Wrike.

SEE:  TechRepublic editorial calendar: IT policies, checklists, toolkits, and research for download (TechRepublic Premium)     

Unified communications platform enhancements in Zoom

There are new functionalities for its core unified communications platform, including the following:

Immersive scenes: Immersive scenes lets the meeting host set a custom background theme for meetings or create layouts where participant videos are embedded within a scene that everyone shares, which is ideal for a classroom or courtroom.

Zoom for Home: Support for DTEN ME, Facebook via the Zoom on Portal app, and Zoom Rooms appliances are generally available. Amazon Echo Show, DTEN onTV, Google Assistant-enabled Smart Displays including Nest Hub Max, and Yealink A20 will be supported by the end of year. Coming in 2021 are additional hardware offerings from HP, Lenovo, and Neat. 

Contactless collaboration: Enhanced voice command options and simplified pairing of personal devices to control Zoom Rooms meeting experiences.

Enhanced whiteboarding: A suite of whiteboarding enhancements will enable persistent collaboration across mobile, desktop and rooms. 

Zoom Rooms smart gallery: Leveraging AI, Zoom Rooms smart gallery presents in-room participants as individuals in gallery view to better enable face-to-face communication between in-office and remote participants.

Zoom Phone features: Alert safety team members and 911 dispatchers simultaneously with E911, which integrates with Zoom Digital Signage and Zoom Chat to inform employees and guide responders. Other upcoming Zoom Phone features include Team SMS and AI-powered spam detection and blocking.

Enhanced Webinar features: Reactions, breakout rooms, customized lobbies, and debrief rooms. 

Video Waiting Rooms: Hosts will be able to choose to admit a guest after seeing them in a waiting room. Right now, there is not a video option for waiting rooms. 

High Fidelity Audio: Using AI, Zoom will automatically detect when to turn on High Fidelity mode. 

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