If you’ve ever wanted to share your Ohmni session with Zoom call participants, we’ve got you covered. By following the instructions below, you will be able to utilize third party software like Zoom and Loopback to achieve video conferencing-like, multi-party calls on Ohmni. This means all participants on your Zoom call will be able to see (via the screen share) Ohmni’s cameras and hear the audio from Ohmni’s side. Their voice will also be audible from Ohmni’s speaker.
Multi-party Calling Use Cases
How can you use multi-party calling with Ohmni?
- Hospitals can offer multi-party calling to allow multiple family members to visit hospitalized patients at once. If family members live far away or the patient cannot otherwise receive visitors -- which is the case during the coronavirus pandemic -- then Ohmni can facilitate this interaction to provide comfort to the patient and alleviate isolation.
2. Museums and art galleries can provide virtual tours to a group using this feature. Avant Gallery, which has spaces in New York, Miami and Dubia, provides remote tours using the Ohmni telepresence robot. Using multi-party calling they can connect art lovers from around the world to visit their collection. At museums, robot museum docents can serve a similar purpose by exposing a group of virtual visitors at once.
- Only the person that starts the Ohmni call will be able to control Ohmni and have their webcam image shown on the screen.
- We have only tested screen sharing to 2 other participants in addition to the Ohmni caller. Depending on your device and network specifications, it is possible that the call quality may reduce as you add more participants.
- Familiar with setting up a video conference call using Zoom.
- A virtual audio software like Loopback (OSX) or VoiceMeeter (Windows).
- High bandwidth network to support both the Ohmni video call and a Zoom video call. At least 6 Mbps download and 6 Mbps upload dedicated.
All setup steps are done from the Ohmni caller’s computer. Other participants will just need Zoom software in order to join the Zoom video call for screen sharing.
If you don’t need the participants to be heard from the Ohmni side, skip directly to Step 5 to share your screen.
Step 1: Install Zoom
Please refer to Zoom’s website on how to setup and install the zoom software. You should be familiar with starting a zoom conference call and how to share your screen to the other participants.
Step 2: Install and setup your Virtual Audio Device Manager
The Ohmni caller will need to install a virtual audio device on their computer in order to route the audio from Ohmni to all the participants and vice versa.
You can use any virtual audio software. The one we use is called Loopback, it is available only on Mac OSX. It is recommended that you buy the license otherwise the trial version will only work for 20 minutes.
If using a PC/Windows device, a free software called VoiceMeeter can be used.
After installing Loopback or VoiceMeeter, open the software and add a new virtual audio device with the following configurations.
Step 2a: Setup your Virtual Audio Device on Mac OSX with Loopback
- The 1st source device should be your computer’s default mic input, in our case we are using “External Microphone” for input so it is set to that device.
- The 2nd source will be the Zoom application, this is to route all the audio from your Zoom session to and from Ohmni.
- The 3rd source called Pass-Thru is created by default, it is the virtual audio device that you will be using later on.
- Use the “+” button by Output Channels, and create a 2nd set of audio output channels.
- Ensure that the first two channels of all your sources are wired to Output Channels 1&2.
- Wire channels 1 and 2 of “Pass-Thru” to Output Channels 3&4.
- Add your default speaker/output device under Monitors. In our case we are using “Headphones”.
- Wire Output Channels 3&4 to the default speaker/output device under Monitors.
Step 2b: Setup your Virtual Audio Device on Windows with VoiceMeeter
Upon downloading and opening the application, you must select a “Hardware Out” device (on far right panel) to output audio on your Windows computer. In this example we use: “Headphones (Bose QC35 II Stereo)
- Select the physical audio device that will be used to output audio on your computer.
- Select the desired physical audio device that will be used to input audio from your computer under “Hardware Input 1” (far left). In this example, “Microphone Array” is chosen.
- Toggle off the Audio output for your physical output channel - A1, by deselecting “A” in the Hardware Input (far left panel). This will eliminate echo as you speak while using your computer.
- Please ensure that the virtual audio device (3rd from left panel) is turned on.
If desired, other options to mute/mix audio channels can be explored using VoiceMeeter’s documentation: here.
Step 3: Setup Ohmni
Figure 3a: Ohmni Setup on MacOS with Loopback
Figure 3b: Ohmni Setup on Windows with VoiceMeeter
- From the Ohmni web application dashboard, click Settings from the top menu bar and click “Loopback Audio (Virtual)” as both Microphone and Speaker.
If using a Windows device, click Settings from the top menu bar and click: “Default - (VoiceMeeter Output (VB-Audio VoiceMeeter VAIO)” as the microphone and, “Default - VoiceMeeter Input (VB-Audio VoiceMeeter VAIO)” as the speaker.
Step 4: Launch a Zoom call and setup audio
Figure 4a: Zoom Setup on Mac OSX with Loopback
Figure 4b: Zoom Setup on Windows with VoiceMeeter
- Launch a Zoom video call
- Under your Audio option, select “Loopback Audio” for both Microphone and Speaker.
- No other setup is required for other participants, they will join the zoom session normally.
Step 5: Call into Ohmni
- Go back to the Ohmni web application in your browser window and dial into Ohmni
- Switch to your Zoom window and click “Share”
- Select the Ohmni video call window to share
Congratulations! If you followed the steps up to this point, you should have successfully shared your Ohmni session with your Zoom call participants. All participants will be able to see (via the screen share) Ohmni’s cameras and hear the audio from Ohmni’s side. Their voice will also be audible from Ohmni’s speaker.