A developer has created a handy tool, called Zoom Escaper, which allows you to sabotage video meetings and ultimately get yourself booted out.
Its workings are quite simple: it allows users to choose from a series of fake, annoying sounds and add them to your audio stream. Your colleagues, so fed up with the disruption, will then allow you to quietly excuse yourself.
‘Add different real-time effects to your voice, making it sound like you have a terrible connection, or that you must go and comfort the man weeping in your apartment,’ Lavigne wrote.
In a short explainer video, he runs through some of the sound effects available to users. The most believable examples are the ability to add an echo to your voice or to make it sound like you have a bad connection. Others include the sound of an upset baby, dogs barking and most bizarrely, a man weeping in your apartment.
‘Just do this until no one is willing to be on a Zoom call with you anymore,’ he says.
Aside from Zoom calls, Lavigne confirmed on YouTube that it also works with Microsoft Teams and Google Meet, other video meeting platforms that have gained popularity during the pandemic.
Replying to a comment, Lavigne said: ‘Yes – it should work with any program on your system that uses a microphone.’
He’s also open to suggestions for additional sounds, telling one parent who asked whether he could add ‘kids fighting’ that it was a ‘great idea’.
After a year of home working and virtual meetings, Lavigne seems to have found a target audience. Earlier this month, he also unveiled the ‘Zoom deleter’.
‘Zoom Deleter is a small program that runs in your menu bar/system tray. It continually checks for the presence of Zoom on your computer, and if found, immediately deletes it. Looking for beta testers!’, he said in his announcement. So far it has been downloaded by 107 people.
Lavigne told The Verge the aim behind both programmes is a ‘deliberate shutdown, reducing productivity and output [and] self-sabotage’.
‘Almost exactly one year into Zoom life and this is so deeply tempting….’, one user wrote on Twitter.
Others described the software as ‘revolutionary’, the ‘holy grail’ and ‘the one thing no one asked for but we all needed’.
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