Business

Google outs Hangouts Meet hardware for your conference room

Back in March Google pivoted Hangouts into a business-focused service. And today it’s introducing the first Hangouts Meet hardware bundle to make video meetings easier to manage and of better quality.

The Hangouts Meet hardware bundle consists of an Asus Chromebox, a 4K camera, a speaker-mic, and a touchscreen controller. The Chromebox runs Chrome OS, and can automatically push updates to the other components in the hardware kit.

The 4K camera has a 120-degree field-of-view, thus easily capturing everyone at the table even in small spaces. It’s built with machine learning and can intelligently detect participants and automatically crop and zoom to frame them.

The speaker-mic is designed by Google to actively eliminate echo and background noise. Up to five of them can be daisy-chained together with a single wire if need be.

The controller lets you easily join scheduled events from Google Calendar or view meeting details. It allows you to pin and mute team members, but also control the camera. Participants can be added with the dial-a-phone feature, and presentations from a laptop can be made via HDMI. Furthermore, if you’re a G Suite Enterprise edition customer, you can record your meetings to Google Drive.

Also in that case you will be able to hold meetings with up to 50 participants, and dial-in from around the globe. The hardware kit is priced at $1,999 and is available in “select markets” today. It should go well with your company’s $4,999 Jamboard 55″ 4K whiteboard, also from Google.

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