To add a tone of lightness to calls and video meetings, but also to protect privacy, Zoom now allows you to hide your face behind an avatar (for now only in animal form).
With the ongoing pandemic emergency in progress, many of the interactions have moved to a distance, with business meetings often replaced by video calls on Zoom: precisely the platform in question, in the past few hours, has announced a curious improvement, Avatar, which should bring to the meetings in a simulated environment the same spontaneity and magic as those in presence.
For some time, Zoom has introduced various features to protect privacy, such as the ability to set virtual backgrounds: on the personalization side, some augmented reality filters have arrived, which for example allow you to add a mustache to the communicator or, for example, bunny ears. Indeed, by downloading the Snap Camera program locally, compatible with computers animated by Windows 10 (or higher) or macOS 10.13 (or higher), it is possible to use the Snapchat Lens, perhaps to present yourself in video as a cartoon born from creative forges. by DreamWorks / Pixar.
Continuing along this trend, and borrowing something similar to the Animoji of iOS by Apple, Snapchat has announced the release of the Avatar feature, usable on Windows, macOS and iOS systems (with the only exception, for now, of Android), with the purpose to introduce a bit of lightness into team building processes, perhaps to make a remote visit to a pediatrician more acceptable to children, or to relieve stress (“Zoom fatigue”, documented by the Virtual Human Interaction Lab at Stanford University) of having to check your image all day to make sure you look correct and presentable.
Taking advantage of the novelty is quite easy, since it is enough to start a meeting, look for additional options and, in the “backgrounds and effects” section, you will also find the new “Avatar” item, by intervening on which the user can choose one of the 11 animals present ( eg rabbit, dog, fox, cow, etc), in a t-shirt version or with sweatshirt and hood, from which to be represented (also “every time you enter a meeting”), with attached reproduction of the expressions and movements of the boss.
For now, the function in question, attentive to privacy (the system would not aim to recognize the user’s face, but would only make sure that there is one and it would follow the movements), is in the beta phase and, therefore, in the future, avatars may even go beyond choosing animals.