Once the David to Microsoft’s Goliath (Skype), Zoom helped us all weather the worst of the covid-19 pandemic. The now massive video communication platform hasn’t stopped evolving, and this week has announced some interesting partnerships with companies like Tesla and AMC Theaters to extend its reach past simple one-on-one communication from your kitchen table.
At this week’s Zoomtopia conference, the company announced a partnership with Tesla. According to Drive Tesla Canada, Tesla drivers will be able to take advantage of Zoom to make video calls from their EV as well as sync Zoom meetings to their in-car calendar for easy access and organization. Zoom shared a video of the feature at Zoomtopia, which shows a driver using Zoom while charging a Tesla Model Y.
Zoom confirmed to Gizmodo in an email that video and audio on Zoom can be used, but only when the car is in park. When the car is being driven, users will only be able to rely on Zoom audio calls. Clearly, we don’t need any additional distractions in our cars and the hope is people won’t continue to overly rely on partially automated driver assistance while conducting a meeting behind the wheel. No official release date has been set for this collaboration, but Nitasha Walia, a Zoom product manager, said at Zoomtopia it would be coming to all new Tesla models soon per Drive Tesla Canada.
Zoom is also making a play to bring the movie theater experience to your laptop—albeit way after we all had our movie watching parties during 2020 lockdown. The caveat here is that this new, bizarre feature is not for the general public to watch movies, but for companies looking to host meetings.
“AMC has an abundance of attractive theaters at centrally located venues in city after city after city, each with ample seating capacity, especially so during daytime hours on weekdays when most meetings take place,” said AMC Theaters CEO and chairman Adam Aron in a press release. “Zoom Rooms at AMC broadens our scope, as we now can participate as well in the multi-billion market for corporate and other meetings.”
According to AMC Theaters, this collaboration with Zoom will turn certain theaters into glorified conference rooms called Zoom Rooms. The feature will allow users and companies to book a three hour time slot in a participating theater to host meetings and virtual events across multiple theaters for remote customers or staff. AMC says that the average auditorium size will accommodate 75 to 150 people, and reservations can include food and beverages offerings, and “possible movie viewings” for an added cost.
Zoom Rooms at AMC Theaters is set to launch in 17 cities in 2023.