Video meetings have pretty much become the norm these days, given recent events. And Zoom has consistently been one of the top players in the video conferencing ecosystem. But for many people, consistent Zoom meetings have also resulted in a lack of productivity.

While it is a great setup for remote meetings for most companies that work around the concept of corporate offices and “status update” meetings, it’s become stale for the newer generation. The ‘Slack generation’, to be precise – those who don’t believe in status update meetings. For people who want their meetings to be more productive – a breeding ground for action and collaboration – Around is the perfect option.

What is Around Video Calling

A new-age video conferencing app, that focuses more on work than on video. If you’re the kind of people who find traditional video meetings intrusive with their high-definition, full-screen video streams, you’re in the right place. It’s true that a traditional video meeting setup makes you feel like you’re under constant scrutiny, where the focus is completely on you – your mannerisms, your expressions, your face – and not the work you’re doing.

Around changes that. “How,” you ask? Around takes your video stream and makes it less. Like, literally less. It’s less formal, less bulky, less intrusive. Instead of the full-screen video streams, Around features floating videos. These videos, focusing mainly on your face, float in round bubbles on the screen occupying much less space. A floating video is just enough to be present but leaves the main space for the work at hand.

Floating videos make it easy to actually work and collaborate while in meetings. Source: Around

What Makes Around a Better Choice than Zoom?

Zoom and other similar video meeting apps provide a great setup for many organizations. But they’re not for all organizations. For organizations that prefer to run things differently, like startups, Around might be the better choice.

The minimal video stream interface is bound to fuel creativity, something traditional video meetings have killed, at least, according to many organizations and employees. You can also have end-to-end video stacks.

Also, it sports some wonderful features. It offers video modes that bathe your video in a liquid light so you can amp up the atmosphere according to your mood.

But the floating mode isn’t the only one available. For meetings that are not about collaboration and where you’d prefer to have a nice talk, you can switch to the campfire mode. Campfire mode switches to a view where everyone is equally visible, and that means everyone.

Traditional video app vs Around in Campfire mode. Source: Around

The video streams are supported by AI camera framing. Even as you move, it finds you and separates you from the background clutter. So, it’s always you and your team in the thought bubbles on the screen and no unnecessary distractions.

With AI-framing, you don’t have to worry about your background. Source: Around

Perhaps, one of the best features of Around is its Audio Signal Processing Engine. Around’s audio engine features AI-mute that’ll automatically recognize and suppress background noises.

But one of its better features is the Echo Terminator. Even with multiple mics and speakers in the same room, there is no echo. For teams with some of their workforce remote, and others working from the same room, this means that those present in the same place don’t have to huddle on the same system or invest in conferencing hardware to prevent echo. Everyone can join from their individual systems.

Echo Terminator makes it possible for multiple people to attend video meetings from the same room. There will be no echo. Source: Around

Around also integrates deeply with Slack, where you can start meetings on Around straight from Slack with a simple command.

Integrate with Slack and start meetings easily. Source: Around

Other than the features that make it stand out, it also has the standard features required of a meeting software: you can share your screen, raise hand, chat, take meeting notes, etc. There are also designated audio rooms for times when you feel like a video meeting is too exhausting.

Currently, Around is in the beta stage, so you can try it out for free. There are dedicated Windows and Mac apps available, with Linux and mobile apps on the way. It also offers a web-app.

You can have meetings with up to 30 people on Around. It even requires lower bandwidth to work. So, if you too feel overexposed and uncomfortable in a video meeting, try Around – it’ll definitely turn your workday around.