Earlier this year, Google relaunched Hangouts as an enterprise service focused at teams. Hangouts Meet — the video component — launched before the text chat app and is today adding dedicated hardware to simplify video conferencing.
Hangouts Meet hardware is not all too different from Chromebox/base for Meetings with a speakermic, 4K camera sensor, and ASUS Chromebox. However, it does add a new touchscreen controller which should be simpler than the previous bundled remote solution.
This screen features an “intuitive touchscreen interface” to view meeting details, join events, and control other aspects, like the camera and adding other participants. Featuring HDMI, users can connect and present via a laptop.
Meanwhile, the speakermic is now designed by Google — possibly related to an acquisition earlier this year — and “eliminates echo and background noise to provide crisp, clear audio.” Meanwhile, up to five devices can be daisy-changed together.
The 4K camera has a 120 degree field of view and is made by third-company Huddly. Machine learning allows for person detection that automatically crops, zooms, and frames a subject. All this is powered by Chrome OS and the usual ASUS Chromebox that supports automatic updates.
Besides this hardware, Hangouts Meet is adding the ability to record meetings and save them to Google Drive for others in an organization to view at a later time. Additionally, Meet now supports up to 50 participants, while the dial-in from a traditional landline feature is now rolling out to more than a dozen markets around the world.
The hardware kit is priced at $1,999 and is available in select markets around the globe beginning today.