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We’ve had video conferencing on the brain lately. And, for obvious reasons, so too has the rest of the world.

One platform in particular, Zoom, has been picking up a lot of steam. It was downloaded 2.13m times around the world on 23 March. It’s being used by people at home to bridge the social distancing gap, as well as by businesses, government departments, and schools and universities. And it’s also caught our imagination here at Team Igloo.

As great as Zoom is, it can still require some adjustment from users. One particular example, that went viral on social media, was the case of a professor at the University of North Carolina. Reluctant to address an empty auditorium, he decided to record his lectures in front of an audience of a lone pinocchio doll. It’s a stark representation of what we’re missing as lockdowns separate people across the world.

At Igloo, we’re convinced that our Shared VR technology can improve the video conferencing experience. As an example, we recently shared details of our next-level Igloo-to-Igloo solution. And, as a follow-up, we’ve now turned our attention to Zoom.

One of the big advantages of the Zoom platform is the way it automatically tiles the participants’ video feeds across the screen. You immediately feel more connected with everyone in the call. And, with a massive 360° wraparound canvas in an Igloo, that capability is multiplied.

For a professor delivering a remote lecture, or a business person hosting a webinar or a virtual meeting, the interaction becomes more natural when you can actually see everyone you’re speaking to - and your audience can see and respond to you too.

In the video example, we configured the system so that the ‘audience’ could comfortably stretch across 220° of the screen real estate. And that left 140° spare for speaker support and screen sharing - in this case, a virtual whiteboard (patched in, by the way, from Microsoft Teams), as well as Zoom’s on-board polling functionality.

For now, we’re offering the Zoom set-up remotely to our existing Igloo user base. So, if you’re an Igloo customer, we’ll give you step-by-step instructions on how to configure and calibrate Zoom to run in your Igloo system - enabling any on-site employees to start hosting virtual events, webinars or lectures right away.

Even as the crisis recedes, we reckon the world of business will change, with big shifts in the way companies share, meet and collaborate. As Cary Cooper, Professor of Organisational Psychology at Manchester Business School, says, “I think business travel will go and it will be only when people need to be there”. And we want Igloo to be on hand to enable the shifts.



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