Tech

These Zoom pop-ups are triggered by hand gestures, no unmuting necessary

Five different hand gestures display quick responses in your Zoom call like yes, no, and hello.

Cameron Hunter

As social isolation mandates stretch on, people are finding creative ways to adapt to the new work-from-home reality. Cameron Hunter, a developer at Netflix by day, used Snap's open APIs to create a lens for video calls that recognizes different hand gestures and displays short messages so you don't need to unmute yourself just to say "yes" or "hello."

This is efficiency — Snap's Lens Studio is an easy way for developers to create lenses and filters that recognize facial expressions and simple gestures. Hunter used five hand gestures to support different responses: hello, yes, no, question, awesome, and goodbye. Instead of needing to unmute yourself every time you want to make a one-word reply to a question like "can you hear me?" you just make a thumbs up and a comic-style "Yes" graphic appears on the screen. By the looks of the discussion on Twitter, it seems to work very well.

How to get it — To use the gestures yourself, all you have to do is install the free Snap Camera app on your computer and then search inside the app for this link. You'll then be able to enable the filter and use it during calls on Zoom, Hangouts, Teams, or any other video conferencing app of your choice.

Zoom already allows users to quickly unmute by holding the space bar, true. But this tool could be useful in larger meetings when someone asks a general question to the group. It's easier to see multiple answers than it is to hear everyone shouting them out. And it's probably faster too, which means you could bring this tool to your team and maybe earn some points for increasing productivity.

Maybe next a gesture can be added that displays "You're on mute" when you cover your mouth, so you can alert others to the common mistake without needing to unmute yourself first. Just a thought!