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Google announces new Hangouts Meet hardware, wider Jamboard availability, and G Suite core service addition

February 7, 2018 | Telepresence Options

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Story and images by Android Police

Google announced a number of changes to its enterprise hardware lineup today: an updated Hangouts Meet conference hardware set for larger rooms, wider distribution and new AI-assisted functionality for its interactive whiteboard-like Jamboard device, and the inclusion of the Jamboard app as a core service in the G Suite.

In its neverending quest to create a cohesive messaging ecosystem, Google decided some time ago that its Hangouts platform was to serve primarily as an enterprise product. To that end, last year, it introduced the introduced the Hangouts Meet conference kit: a Chrome-powered affair aimed at businesses to facilitate teleconferencing via the company's Hangouts Meet software. Google announced today the product is receiving a refresh by way of a new camera.

The updated kit, whose first iteration went on sale last November, includes an Asus Chromebox 2 with a fifth-gen Intel Core i7 processor; a high-performance speaker/microphone combo (which Google calls a "speakermic"); a motorized 1080p camera with 10x optical zoom; and a 10.1-inch touch display to control it all. This new setup runs $2,549 with the required software license and is available for pre-order now. (Last year's model, which includes a stationary, wide-angle, 4k camera, is still available and costs $550 less.)

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