Zoom’s Immersive View is reimagining video conferencing as a virtual office

Zoom wants your next video call to feel more like you and your friends, family, or colleagues are hanging out in the same room. On April 26, Zoom rolled out a new feature called “Immersive View,” which arranges as many as 25 people against a single big virtual backdrop. In theory, the company says, this will “create the feeling of being in a classroom, a boardroom, a conference auditorium, or your favorite place to catch up with friends,” rather than a typical Zoom call in which participants are separated into a Brady Bunch grid.

But achieving that reality remains a long way off. Immersive View is just as clunky as any of Zoom’s virtual backgrounds. When I experimented with it on my own, Immersive View had a hard time distinguishing between my face and the wall behind me, creating nightmarish apparitions that plagued me no matter how many times I adjusted the lighting in my room or moved to new spots in my apartment.

Just like being back at the Quartz office.

Zoom is not the…

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