Room For Zoom, A Modular Video Space For Hybrid Offices, Wants To Let You In Soon
After 18 months of working from home, it’s second nature to duck into a side room to get some privacy for a video call. A new product, a customized modular room for video calls, hopes that when returning workers need to do the same thing at the office, it’s a much more enjoyable experience.
The Room for Zoom, a 7 feet by 4 feet installable pod specifically designed for videoconferencing, features an HP PC embedded with the Zoom Rooms software and built-in lighting. The purpose-built space, which was designed in partnership with the videoconferencing app, offers a “seamless set-up” where “everything was thought through,” said ROOM co-founder and CEO Brian Chen, whose New York-based firm provides turnkey, modular meeting spaces and phone booths for offices.
“What’s clear is videoconferencing is going to be a part of our lives in a way it wasn’t before the pandemic, even after we return to our offices,” Chen said. Solving the problem of better videoconferencing and leveling the playing field between remote and in-office workers applies to everyone from “freelancers to the Fortune 500.”
The Room for Zoom costs $16,995, which ROOM says is half the price of a DIY, cobbled-together space. Competitors, such as Framery, offer office pods (sans the videoconferencing tech) for roughly $17K.
The Room space, which features an adjustable desk, skylights, silent fans and HEPA filtration, soundproofing made from recycled plastic bottles, and a whiteboard, can be installed in hours via a white glove installation service. ROOM’s products have been used by firms such as Amazon, Apple, Google and Nike.
While numerous estimates suggest the multibillion-dollar videoconferencing market will expand significantly after widespread adoption in 2020, last year’s sudden rush toward video meetings didn’t lead to massive investments in office hardware. The return to the office, delayed for many, offers an opportunity to sell hardware to corporate clients worried about engaging and retaining hybrid and remote employees, and potentially primed to spend money on office redesign.