Escape awkward Zoom calls with this new 'exit button'

Zoom down
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

2020’s holiday season is going to be the year of the video call, since we can’t all spend the holidays together in person. But Zoom calls aren’t always the best, and you might wish you had a quick and easy way out. Like a panic button that disconnects your call right away.

Thankfully, Brian Moore, creative director at Anomaly, has developed a way to hang up from a call without any of the usual messing around to try and hang up.

Mobile video calls aren't too bad, because you can just tap the “hang up” button on your screen, assuming it doesn't disappear for some reason. But on desktops and laptops? It’s a different story, because you have to fiddle with your mouse to find the cursor, make sure it gets to the right place, and then hope the button doesn't perform a vanishing act. 

It’s a pain we’ve all experienced, and the worst part is that everyone still on the call can see everything.

Which is why we’re such big fans of Brian’s creation, which ends his Zoom calls whenever he pulls a lamp cord by his desk. It isn’t a giant red “panic” button, but it is the next best thing.

The exit button consists of an Adafruit mini computer, a battery, and a few soldered cables. Plus, whatever physical activation switch you opt for. It can be a button if you want it to be, or a comically large lever; you just need to hook it up to the system correctly. 

In fact, your only limit here is your imagination, as David Zhou showed when he set the exit button to quit zoom whenever he lets out an overly dramatic sigh.

You can find everything you need, from code to building instructions, over on GitHub. The good news is this escape button doesn’t just work on Zoom, since it will also kill all Chrome tabs that have Google Meet opened. 

Still, when your grandparents start causing drama during the holiday Zoom call, you now have a quick and easy way to get out. Assuming, of course, you have all the right parts on hand.

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.