While most Americans prepare for a lonelier Thanksgiving this year, there are options to connect with help from Zoom.
Esther Yoon, a marketing manager for Zoom, presented the details in a USA Today story.
If money is tight, maybe a phone call after dinner will have to suffice; but if you have the financial resources to connect, these devices work not only with Zoom, but with Google Meet, WebEx and Microsoft Teams.
Adding to the allure: Zoom has eliminated its 40-minute time limit for free users on Thanksgiving.
First up: Facebook’s Portal is a video unit for video calls with a camera that can follow you as you move around. So, you won’t have to pick up the device and pass it around so much.
Portal users can use Facebook Messenger and What’s App.
Nervous about privacy rights? Info is stored on the device, not on Facebook servers. “Portal’s camera does not use facial recognition and does not identify who you are,” Facebook says.
The Portal offers the 8-inch Mini ($129), 10-inch Portal ($179) and giant-size 15-inch Portal+ ($279).
A second option: an iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab. More functional than a laptop, they have bigger screens, too.
Smartphones and laptops also work. Yoon says to anchor the laptop at the head of the table for maximum coverage.
Finally, though a bit technical, you can see far-flung family on your TV.
The USA Today piece says no TV they know of has a built-in webcam, but with an Apple TV streaming box ($179 or $199) and its feature called AirPlay, you can beam images from iPhones, iPads and Mac computers to other devices. Just “connect the Apple TV to your TV via AirPlay to bring Zoom to the really big screen.”