Google has introduced a video meeting product, which integrates Google+ Hangouts and Google Apps with high-definition video-conferencing.
While people can already use Google Hangouts and Google+ on their smartphones, tablets and laptops for video-conferencing, the Chromebox for meeting product is designed for meeting rooms and is positioned to compete with Microsoft Lync, which can be used to deliver Skype to meeting rooms.
The $999 unit includes a licence for 15 users, along with 24/7 support.
It uses an Intel i7-powered Asus Chromebox, a high-definition camera, a combined microphone and speaker unit, and a remote control.
In a blog post, Caesar Sengupta, vice-president of product management at Google, wrote: “Walk into the room, click the remote once and you’re instantly in the meeting. No more complex dial-in codes, passcodes or leader PINs. Share your laptop screen wirelessly, no need for any cords and adaptors. Integration with Google Apps makes it easy to invite others and add rooms to video meetings, directly from Google Calendar.”
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The first Chromebox for meeting is a device from Asus, with offerings from HP and Dell to be available in the coming months, he said. “Later this year, we plan to launch in Australia, Canada, France, Japan, New Zealand, Spain and the UK,” said Sengupta.
Google said the system can also connect to rooms that have traditional video-conferencing systems using a tool from Vidyo, and participants who prefer phones can join meetings with a conference call number via UberConference.
Evenbrite Yelp, Costco and Premier Foods are among the early adopters.