Zoom Rooms: Beyond Telepresence

Enable your everywhere workforce with telepresence, which helps remote and in-office employees connect and work seamlessly together.


Employees can use a telepresence room system with integrated hardware to easily connect, see multiple meeting participants on different screens, and share content, all while enjoying crystal-clear audio and immersive video.

Zoom Rooms: Beyond Telepresence

What is the difference between video conferencing and telepresence?

You may be wondering: what is telepresence and how does it differ from video conferencing? 

Traditional video conferencing usually involves joining a meeting using a laptop, a device with a webcam, or a conference room with a simple audio-visual setup.

When video conferencing was first introduced, it was difficult to join, had poor audio and video quality, and complicated hardware setups. Because of this, early video conferencing meetings were not very productive and ended up having very low utilization.

Telepresence is a step above that, offering an immersive experience for meeting participants. Telepresence refers to video conferencing technology that gives remote participants a powerful presence, allowing them to be clearly seen and heard by everyone in the room. This can be achieved with a conference room system that integrates multiple screens, multiple precision-aligned speakers, microphone arrays, touch-screen displays, and integrated whiteboards.

Telepresence used to involve complex room systems that were expensive and required extensive room remediation. Since the rooms were commonly executive-level, not used for everyday activities, IT would often be needed to set up and manage meetings.

By contrast, Zoom Rooms’ software-based conference room system makes it easy to provide a customizable, optimal telepresence experience with additional levels of platform integration. With Zoom Rooms, employees can start or join meetings with one touch, share content wirelessly, and seamlessly collaborate in and out of the office. 

A flexible, fully immersive system like Zoom Rooms can be integrated into a variety of workspaces — any room where high-quality video presence is needed:

  • Conference rooms
  • Huddle rooms
  • Executive offices
  • Training rooms
  • Auditoriums and presentation rooms
  • All-hands spaces
  • Home offices
  • Classrooms and lecture halls

What to look for in a telepresence room

A telepresence room is a dedicated meeting environment that allows your workforce to collaborate seamlessly, deliver polished presentations and pitches, and work more efficiently, all over video. Modern, cloud-based telepresence offers flexibility for a distributed workforce and eliminates some of the biggest pain points of traditional video-enabled conference rooms.

Video quality

Telepresence has the ability to connect remote and in-office meeting participants and make them feel as if they are in the same room together. In order to achieve that, video and audio should be flawless. Look for a video-first solution like Zoom Rooms, which is uniquely architected to deliver a reliable, 1080p HD video experience.


Telepresence used to be prohibitively expensive, costing thousands of dollars to deploy. Modern cloud-based telepresence room systems, like Zoom Rooms, are much more affordable because there’s less infrastructure to support and fewer pieces of equipment to maintain. Purpose-built, all-in-one devices add to the affordability, integrating wide-angle cameras, powerful audio systems, and touch-screen displays so you have everything you need to join a meeting in one device.

Ease of use

Telepresence may be a step above video conferencing in terms of quality and experience, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be harder to set up or use. Zoom Rooms are designed with a focus on usability to tackle the challenges of traditional conference rooms, which often cause frustration as users struggle with joining meetings, scheduling meetings, and sharing content. 

With Zoom Rooms, meeting participants can quickly join meetings with one touch and integrate with Office 365, Exchange, and Google Calendar to schedule meetings with ease. Sharing content is as simple as clicking a button — no wires required.

Hardware requirements

To deploy a room system like Zoom Rooms, you’ll need the following:


Explore our recommended hardware guide for purpose-built solutions that are easy to deploy and scale, or check out our Hardware as a Service program for flexible, cost-effective room solutions that you can upgrade when you need to.

Make an existing telepresence system more flexible

Zoom Rooms delivers an all-in-one conference room experience that’s designed for collaboration. But what if you already have an existing telepresence system? With the Zoom Conference Room Connector, you can connect standards-based room systems to the Zoom cloud for a consistent, simplified experience.

Zoom Conference Room Connector provides native integrations with Polycom, Cisco, and other room systems, so you can centralize and streamline your room system management, and your users can enjoy the benefits of Zoom Rooms: 

  • 1080p HD video and audio
  • Easy one-touch to start or join a meeting
  • Wireless content sharing
  • Customized video layout options
  • Scheduling display
  • Digital signage

Telepresence FAQ

Telepresence is a set of technologies that work together to deliver an immersive video meeting experience. Zoom Rooms, a software-based conference room system, is designed to run on hardware and appliances to create a dedicated telepresence environment. Zoom Rooms leverage displays, computers, audio, cameras, and touch display controller devices to enable users to join and manage meetings with integrated audio and video.

When telepresence was first introduced, it was seen as a costly investment of tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to outfit conference rooms with special equipment for connectivity and high-quality video. Now, cloud-based telepresence software like Zoom Rooms helps defray those costs with licenses that start at $499 per room annually. Because Zoom Rooms are compatible with a variety of hardware and appliances (you may even be able to use your existing equipment) hardware costs can vary depending on your needs and preferences.

If you’d like to connect your existing Cisco telepresence solution to the Zoom cloud, our Zoom Conference Room Connector gives you that flexibility. The Zoom Conference Room Connector enables SIP or H.323 room systems to communicate with desktop, tablet, mobile devices, Zoom Rooms, and other SIP or H.323 endpoints to deliver a consistent, cloud-based experience across your existing Cisco or Polycom room system.