Zoom, the videoconferencing app that rocketed to prominence during the COVID pandemic, is coming to Vision Pro. The app will be available on the headset's launch day, 2 February, and promises to seamlessly blur your video conference with your physical space.
One of the criticisms of Apple's Vision Pro is that there isn't a plethora of third-party apps, and while that doesn't seem to be harming sales – Apple is believed to have sold over 200,000 units already, making its headset a $700,000,000-plus business before any units have even been delivered – there are some notable holdouts including YouTube and Netflix, the latter of whom has said that the Vision Pro just isn't relevant to most of their users. Zoom clearly believes otherwise.
What will the Zoom app on Vision Pro do?
To begin with the app will have two key features: Personas, which will produce a realistic avatar of you that mimics your facial and hand movements and which uses facial scanning to create your digital version, and what Zoom calls "Spatial Zoom experience", which enables you to scale the interface to make it look as if you're in the same room as your remote colleagues.
Zoom has also announced three more features, which won't be available at launch but are promised for this spring. They are 3D object sharing, enabling you to collaborate on 3D models for industries such as design, media and games development; Team Chat, Zoom's rival to the Slack messaging system; and Real World Pinning, which will enable you to "pin" up to five participants anywhere in your physical space and optionally remove their background so they blend in better with your decor.
Zoom is quite the fan of Apple systems: in December it launched a version of its video software for the Apple TV to complement its existing collection of Apple apps for Mac, iOS and iPadOS. That app takes advantage of Apple's Continuity Camera feature, which enables you to use your iPhone as a webcam for compatible apps; none of the Apple TV boxes have their own webcam.
There is one feature that I'm hoping to see in Zoom but which hasn't been listed in the press blurb so far: a version of the app that understands you nearly forgot about the meeting and are so stressed that the last thing you need right now is a compulsory app update. Looks like that one's still on the wish list for now.