Voice zones, zone types, and conference permissions
Understanding the relationship between voice zones, zone types, and conferencing system permissions is critical for customizing your Breakroom workspace.
Collaboration is the soul of Breakroom—and that collaboration happens inside different types of voice zones. Voice zones are virtual objects that encompass the areas where audio and video sharing will take place. These objects are normally invisible to you and your users.
An example of a voice zone set up around an info desk, currently visible through the Region Editor (the light green sphere).
Each voice zone type behaves differently, giving you the ability to structure online work, conferences, and presentations in a number of ways. By adding breakout areas to a region, creating custom voice zones, and customizing the RoomFurniture component attached to Breakroom's Breakout Area and Voice Zone objects, you can streamline communication and remove potential pain points.
This page will serve as a brief introduction to the different voice zone types and how they can be used to foster different forms of user engagement. It is strongly recommended that you read and understand this information prior to customizing your first Breakroom region.
Currently, Breakroom offers five different voice zone types.
Voice chat: Available to all users.
Webcam and screen share: Restricted to only those users standing in the designated presenter positions. Moderators can choose to enable media sharing permissions for the audience if they wish.
Voice chat, webcam and screen share: Restricted to only those users standing in the designated presenter positions. Moderators can choose to enable voice chat and media sharing permissions for the audience if they wish.
Voice chat, webcam and screen share: Available to all users. Everyone can chat and share media freely.
Voice chat: Available to all users.
Webcam and screen share: Disabled. No one can share media.
Voice chat, webcam and screen share: Disabled. No one can voice chat or share media.
Voice zone type information is stored in the Zone Type property, under the voice zone object's RoomFurniture component.
Voice is the standard setting for the global zone, which is an invisible voice zone that encompasses the whole of your region. It may help to visualize this voice zone as the general environment of your region, or as "anywhere another, specific voice zone is not." This topic will be explained in more detail below.
The media streaming system cannot accommodate more than 17 simultaneous webcam or screen share users.
To visually illustrate how multiple voice zones could be set up in a region, let's take a closer look at one of the Breakroom region templates.
The image above is a flyover shot of the Breakroom Campus region. You can see that it consists of several lobbies, meeting rooms, and an amphitheater, as well as trees and gardens. Everything you see here is contained inside the global voice zone.
Here's a top-down view of the same region. Each of the highlighted areas above is a separate voice zone. Depending on each zone's type, these spaces offer different communication options.
- The circular amphitheater is a Presenter zone. Someone can give a video presentation here, and audience members will not be able to interrupt by sharing their own video streams. In order to present, users will have to sit on a presenter seat (normally located at the front of the auditorium). The audience can interact via voice chat to ask questions or participate in activities.
- The red, yellow, blue, and green offices are Meeting zones. Everyone can share video and speak on voice chat, just as they might expect to do in a physical conference room.
- Everywhere else falls within the global zone, which is a Voice zone. This means that users can voice chat with one another as they move between the offices, but they cannot share their webcams or screens.
Only users with avatars currently located inside a particular voice zone can hear, share, and communicate with other users in that zone. This design makes it possible for different meetings or events to be held concurrently in the same region without technical interference or audio competition. Likewise, when you are inside an isolated voice zone (such as an office), you will no longer hear voice chat taking place in the global zone.
When you approach the edge of a voice zone, a transparent blue boundary indicator will appear. This serves as a convenient reminder that you are leaving a voice zone, or that you need to enter a voice zone in order to speak with users located on the other side.
An example of a voice zone visual boundary indicator. This user will need to move inside the boundary indicator if she wants to be heard by others in the breakout room.
Many of Breakroom's region templates come pre-equipped with breakout areas and intuitive voice zones, all designed for plug-and-play functionality. However, you always have the power to customize your regions to meet your specific project needs. The links below contain information on setting up custom voice zones and adding additional breakout spaces to your regions.
If you need to troubleshoot an issue with audio or voice chat, our pages on voice chat and spatial sound and troubleshooting audio and video are full of helpful tips.
Adding breakout areas to your region: Learn how to set up the prefab breakout areas included in your starter bundle of room items, as well as how to manually edit their settings.
Creating custom audio zones: Learn how to set up a voice zone anywhere, and how to manage multiple voice zones within regions.