The VK Calls app for Windows, macOS and Linux will allow up to 2,048 participants to be in a single call with no time limit. This includes users of the desktop version of the website and VK mobile apps. In the near future, an unlimited number of people will be able to be in a call at the same time. VK is the only platform to provide these capabilities for free.
The new VK Calls app brings desktop users a new user experience. Load optimization and the use of native operating system capabilities provide higher quality audio and video, along with a stable connection. This is all possible thanks to VK’s proprietary solutions and the absence of certain technical considerations and limitations found in browsers.
Another innovation only available in VK Calls is 4K resolution screen sharing. VK provides the highest video image quality among video conferencing platforms thanks to the company’s in-house solutions. Call participants joining from the new desktop app have access to AR backgrounds that were created based on the previously announced VK Clips AR platform.
VK focused heavily on developing and enhancing the intelligent noise suppression technology used in VK Calls. Now, the desktop app can remove all background noise during a call to ensure that the speaker’s voice is clear and understandable. This technology was previously only available on the VK mobile apps.
Machine learning technologies were utilized to further optimize the load on user devices and the traffic required during calls. Now, only speech is transferred over the internet, free of background noise. This is particularly important for users calling with a poor or unstable internet connection.
The new app is ideal for holding mass events, such as large-scale educational forums, meet-and-greets and work conferences that host thousands of employees. VK Calls has all of the tools necessary for such events. This includes the ability to join calls anonymously without a VK account, live stream calls on profiles or in communities, record live streams and use a wide variety of call management tools.
Participants can join a call by following an invite link as well as by directly starting and receiving a call. Users can call anyone from their friend list or group chats. The invited user will see the incoming call appear on their computer screen or mobile app and can easily join it.
VK Calls already allows up to 2,048 participants to be in a call at the same time. Administrators have access to features for cross-platform call management on the new app as well as the mobile apps and desktop version of the website. Within the next month, the limit on the number of participants will be removed completely.
To ensure privacy, VK introduced Waiting Rooms to calls. After requesting to join a call, users must wait for the administrator to admit them. Waiting Rooms are just one of the many tools available on VK Calls for managing call participants. To create a quiet conference environment, administrators can turn off everyone’s microphones and choose whether they can turn them back on. If a participant wants to ask a question, they can write it in the chat or use the Raise Hand option, after which the administrator can offer them the opportunity to speak.
The Beauty Filter is there to help users feel more confident when receiving unexpected calls. Computer vision technology allows filters to even out skin tones and enhance facial features in real time.
The VK Calls app is available for Windows, macOS and Linux and can be downloaded here: vk.com/video-calls
Alexander Tobol, CTO of VK and the Single Video and Call Platform of Mail.ru Group:
“We are continuing to enhance our video conferencing technologies so that all VK users can communicate online without any limits. To make this possible, we completely rebuilt the video call platform architecture and implemented a new approach to working with audio and video streams. We have managed to scale calls to any number of servers while bringing resource consumption to a minimum on both the server and client. In the near future, this will make us the first in the world to provide technologies that allow an unlimited number of users to join a call and use all conference features available, complete with video and the ability to speak. Our innovations include new capabilities for both call participants and administrators. These include our own screen sharing technology in ultra-high-quality 4K resolution, updated intelligent noise suppression, and a waiting room for managing call participants. Very soon, we will introduce new ways of social communication, making it possible to have access to and consume content during an online call. Currently, what is most important for us is to provide a high-tech, quality and absolutely free product to people regardless of their internet connection and what device they use.
Earlier, VK announced the relaunch of its video platform. Now, an unlimited number of people can watch live streams, even with an unstable internet connection or on sluggish devices. This was made possible thanks to VK’s in-house developments in adaptive video streaming technologies with scalable architecture. Additionally, users can now watch videos and live streams in 4K resolution, stream videos via Chromecast and AirPlay, and upload video files of up to 256 GB in size.