Zoom Wants to Spice Up Meetings with New Animal Avatars

Posted on March 23, 2022 by Laurent Giret in Cloud with 8 Comments

Zoom is trying to tackle video meeting fatigue with new 3D animal avatars, which are now available for Zoom meetings and webinars. Once enabled, the new avatars will replace your face in a meeting with a virtual animal that will imitate your face movements and facial expressions, similar to Apple’s animated Memojis on iOS.

“Avatars are an easy and entertaining way to engage with attendees and create a bit of fun. They also provide a good middle ground for users who don’t want to appear on camera, but still want to express body language and facial expressions,” Zoom explained in the announcement.

While you may think that showing up in a Zoom video call as a virtual avatar may ruin your professional credibility, Zoom believes that its 3D avatars can serve as an ice breaker during meetings. The company also highlighted how using an animated appearance can make pediatric care less stressful with patients, or how teachers could use these avatars for storytelling purposes.

Take a Walk on the Wild Side with Avatars

These new 3D avatars are available in the Zoom app for Windows, macOS, and iOS, and they can be easily found next to the app’s virtual backgrounds and video filters. Zoom’s new Avatars don’t use facial recognition technology, and the company also emphasized that “images of your face don’t leave your device when using this feature, and they are not stored or sent to Zoom.”

Zoom says that it’s starting with a small selection of animal avatars for now, but the company already plans to offer more animated avatar options in the future. Zoom remains one of the most popular video conferencing apps on the market, but it remains to be seen if these new 3D avatars can really make video meetings less stressful for users.

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Comments (8)

8 responses to “Zoom Wants to Spice Up Meetings with New Animal Avatars”

  1. anoldamigauser

    "Your honor, I am not a cat."

    • thretosix

      I would actually use that, these look like they were meant for elementary school children.

  2. sharps

    I don't see how that is preferable to just turning off video? When would you use it? Couldn't be used in a professional environment.

  3. r.g.keys

    I work at a university and one thing I've noticed is "fun" updates like this or emojis really drive end-users to upgrade their clients.

  4. darkgrayknight

    I leave my video off, as do most of us during meetings, just to reduce the bandwidth since we are scattered across the US and all on VPNs. This would just add to bandwidth and/or local processing power. I doubt we would add this ever to our meetings.

  5. richfrantz

    When did zoom add dark mode? Look for one thing, find something else. lol

  6. christianwilson

    If this is acceptable in a professional business setting, then I am truly out of touch.

  7. red.radar

    Generally… Its good etiquette to only use the minimum amount of resources to accomplish your business call. Video calling is appropriate for a quick introduction but it consumes a lot of bandwidth and local resources to encrypt and decrypt the video stream. Most of the time someone is displaying a presentation or screen so the focus is there anyhow.

    My personal observations…