Google Introduces $2K Hangouts Meet Hardware Kit

Technology PCmag

Need a new video conferencing solution for your business? Google just introduced a new Hangouts Meet hardware kit intended to help businesses elevate their video meetings. The kit includes a touch-screen controller, speakermic, a 4K-sensor Ultra HD camera, and an Asus Chromebox.

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The touch-screen controller offers an "intuitive" interface that lets you join scheduled events from the calendar, view meeting details with a single tap, mute certain participants, and control the camera, G-Suite Product Manager Katie Roberts-Hoffman wrote in a blog post. There's also a "dial-a-phone" feature that lets you add participants and an HDMI port so you can present from a laptop.

The Google-designed speakermic promises to eliminate echo and background noise, offering clear audio so you won't have to keep repeating yourself. For larger rooms, you can link up to five speakermics together so everyone can voice their opinions.

The UHD camera offers a 120-degree field of view, which should "easily" get everyone at the table in the picture, Roberts-Hoffman wrote. It also features machine-learning technology, which can detect participants and automatically crop and zoom to frame them.

Finally, the Asus Chromebox should make it easy to deploy and manage everything; it can automatically push updates to other components in the hardware kit and offers remote device monitoring for IT admins.

The Hangouts Meet hardware kit costs $1,999 and includes a free year of the software license (which is normally $250). Prices vary in different markets; head here for more information.

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Google also today announced a few updates to Meet for G Suite Enterprise edition customers, including support for up to 50 participants, the ability to record meetings directly to Drive, and dial-in support for more than a dozen markets (US, Canada, UK, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, Spain, and Sweden).

The new hardware kit comes after Google in March split Hangouts into two services: Meet, designed specifically for the workplace, and Chat. The Web giant also recently launched Jamboard, a $5,000 collaborative and smart digital whiteboard.

This article originally appeared on PCMag.com.