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article imageGoogle launches dedicated hardware to improve workplace meetings

By James Walker     Oct 31, 2017 in Technology
Google's announced a new hardware offering aimed to help businesses access higher-quality video meetings. Currently provided as a kit, the Chrome OS-powered package gives companies everything they need to create a dedicated touchscreen meeting device.
The hardware comprises four components that create a dedicated access point for video meetings. A touchscreen, speakermic and 4K video camera cater for input requirements. The device is powered by an ASUS Chromebox computer, equipped with Chrome OS and Google's Hangouts Meet conferencing software.
The speakermic can be daisy-chained, allowing up to five units to be linked by a single wire for crisper all-around audio. The camera has a 120-degree field-of-view to maximise the number of people who can be present in the scene. It uses machine learning technology to intelligently identify different meeting members and crop the camera view to their face.
Google Hangouts Meet hardware
Google Hangouts Meet hardware
The software's touchscreen interface gives employees a hub to check on upcoming meetings, get the details on scheduled events and manage meeting participants. You can pin members, mute the audio, adjust the camera settings or present your screen. G Suite Enterprise customers also have the option of recording the entire appointment and saving it straight to their Drive cloud storage.
Google said the package is designed to make modern meetings accessible to more businesses. Companies often lack the hardware that lets them make the most of video conferencing technology. Hangouts Meet now provides a complete solution for collaborating over the Internet, from the webcam to the underlying app.
"The transformative power of video meetings is wasted if it's not affordable and accessible to all organizations," said Google. "So today, we're introducing Hangouts Meet hardware – a new way to bring high-quality video meetings to businesses of any size. We're also announcing new software updates designed to make your meetings even more productive."
Google Hangouts Meet hardware
Google Hangouts Meet hardware
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Google's rapidly expanding its G Suite business software portfolio with new capabilities for businesses of all sizes. Hangouts Meet hardware is another way for the company to make G Suite more attractive to enterprises. It helps them to access modern workplace technologies if their existing devices can't support conferencing capabilities such as 4K video and active noise elimination.
Accompanying the new hardware is a set of additional features for the Hangouts Meet software. Google's adding automatic meeting recordings, expanding dial-in participant support to several more markets and increasing the meeting participant cap to 50 people.
The features are rolling out gradually to Hangouts users. The hardware kit is available in select markets from today with pricing starting at $1,999.
More about Google, Hangouts, google hangouts, hangouts meet, Workplace
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