What is Zoom Escaper? The new app with fake sounds helps users escape meetings

Created by artist Sam Lavigne, users can use the app to sabotage their own Zoom meetings via audio issues

A new web widget will now allow users to sabotage their own Zoom calls with fake audio effects. Unsplash 
A new web widget will now allow users to sabotage their own Zoom calls with fake audio effects. Unsplash 

Crying babies and loud construction – those are only two of the audio options available on a new web widget called Zoom Escaper. If you’ve had enough of your Zoom meeting or want an excuse to log off early, the tool can help by playing fake audio effects that are so irritating during a call, the other people in it will want you to sign off.

Barking dogs, wind and even a bad connection are other choices readily available for those seeking it. Even better, they can all be played together, so you could even have the annoying combination of a crying baby and loud construction going on in the background all at once.

“My hope with Zoom Escaper is that people use it to escape Zoom calls and do less work,” artist Sam Lavigne, the app’s creator, told The Guardian. “I’ve been thinking about how sabotage might work in a digital context, especially one where the means of production are also personal devices that mediate your social life.”

Other less unconventional noises include a crying man and an echo that is bothersome. Of course, it’s worth remembering that whatever effect is chosen, there might need to be a follow-up explanation as to why a baby might be crying in the background if you’re known to not have children or why people can hear the wind if you’re clearly indoors.

If you’re absolutely sure you’ve had enough of Zoom, you can also download another of Lavigne’s projects called Zoom Deleter. The small programme continually checks for the presence of Zoom on your computer and will immediately delete it if found.

Lavigne, an artist and educator living in New York, often uses the themes of technology, data, surveillance and automation in his works.

Updated: March 17, 2021 02:58 PM

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