10. October 2023 - CollaborationheiCONF Update Introduces New Functions

The newest version of the university’s video conferencing service heiCONF / heiCONF-Audimax can now be used as of the past weekend (7-8 October). With the update of the open source software BigBlueButton to version 2.7, users have access to new developments, optimizations of existing features and a general improvement in overall performance. 
Overview of the most important changes:  

User friendliness

  • Grid layout 
    The improved webcam layout provides a visual display for each participant, including those who do not have their camera turned on. Regardless of whether they have enabled their webcam or not, all participants can more easily see who is speaking, who is presenting, etc. This new view is only active within the "Video in the center" layout. 
  • Share camera as content
    In hybrid teaching, there is often a need to show a physical whiteboard or to direct participants' attention to a specific physical space. The new version has the option to display webcam activity as the main content in the presentation panel. 
Screenshot heiCONF Update 2.7 Share camera as content
  • Disable self-view 
    By popular request of users, you can now disable the display of your own webcam. This means that you will not see yourself as a participant. If you disable your self-display, which can be done via the drop down menu next to your name, you will see a picture of yourself with a notification reminding you that your webcam is still active and others can see you. 
Screenshot heiCONF Update 2.7 Disable self-view
  • Download original presentation restored
    In BigBlueButton 2.4 and 2.5, it was possible to download an entire presentation. In version 2.6, this option was replaced by the possibility to download the presentation along with all embedded comments. Now, both download options have been made available for selection. Both the presentation with the annotations, and the original uploaded file or - if BigBlueButton had to convert the presentation file into a PDF file - the PDF intermediate file are available options for download.
Screenshot heiCONF Update 2.7 Download the original presentation
  • Timer and stopwatch 
    A new function is the short-term alarm clock / (countdown) timer and the stopwatch, which can be displayed in the session so that all participants can see it. There is also an auditory notification when the timer runs out. 
Screenshot heiCONF Update 2.7 Timer-Stopwatch
  • Wake lock for mobile devices
    When BigBlueButton is used on a mobile device, you can now enable a wake-up lock (if supported by your mobile browser). This function can be activated through the settings, found by clicking on the three dots in the upper right corner. This will keep your device's screen on, which means it will not darken and media connections will not be interrupted. 
Screenshot heiCONF Update 2.7 Wake lock mobile device


  • Reaction bar with emojis
    The new toolbar will help participants to react more easily and make these reactions more visible. The chosen emoji will be automatically displayed in the participant list area for about one minute. The "Raise hand" function is also located in this bar. 
Screenshot heiCONF Update 2.7 Reaction bar with emojis
  • Additional survey options
    The number of possible answer options for surveys has been increased from 6 to 20, allowing surveys to be more specific. 

For a detailed description of all the improvements and bug fixes in BigBlueButton version 2.7, please refer to the linked blog post.