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Google and ASUS overnight have launched a new “Chromebox for meetings” which is bundled with with a camera, microphone, and speaker as an all-in-one meeting room solution for using Google+ Hangouts and accessing Google Apps.

The Chromebox for meetings brings together Google+ Hangouts and Google Apps in an easy-to-manage Chromebox. The Chromebox for Meetings is now on sale in the US for US$999, the pricetag includes an Asus Chromebox with a 4th Generation Intel Core i7 Processor, HDMI and DisplayPort++ output with 4xUSB 3.0 ports as well as Ethernet and Wifi. To connect to your new Chromebox you’ll also get some peripherals including a HD Camera with a Carl Zeiss lens that supports fullHD, a Microphone/Speaker with built-in DSP and Omni directional Mic as well as Mute/End Call and Volume buttons, and finally an RF based(no line of site required) remote control with full QWERTY keypad on the rear.

Here are just a few features Google have stated Chromebox for Meetings will be offering to business consumers:

  • Instant meeting room. Chromebox for meetings comes with a blazing-fast Intel Core i7-based Chromebox, a high-definition camera, a combined microphone and speaker unit and a remote control. Set up your entire room in minutes and easily manage all meeting rooms from a web-based management console. All you need is the display in your room, and you’re good to go.
  • Simpler and faster meetings. 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.
  • Meetings with anyone, anywhere. Up to 15 participants can join the video meeting from other conference rooms, their laptops, tablets or smartphones. Need to meet with a customer who doesn’t use Chromebox for meetings? That’s easy too—all they need is a Gmail account. You can also connect to rooms that have traditional video conferencing systems using a new tool from Vidyo, and participants who prefer phones can join your meeting with a conference call number from UberConference.

While the first box to be released is an Asus branded one, Google have advised that ‘Chromeboxes from HP and Dell will be available for meetings in the coming months’. With plans to launch them here in Australia, as well as other markets such as Canada, France, Japan, New Zealand, Spain and the U.K later this year.

There’s also an update to the Google+ Hangouts technology that powers Google+ Hangouts, with 9to5Google noting that Vidyo had announced an update which will allow for existing teleconferencing systems to be connected to Google+ Hangouts.

Vidyo, Inc. today announced the first product resulting from its on-going relationship with Google, a software-based solution that enables H.323/SIP video conferencing and IP PBX systems to connect users into Google+ Hangout Sessions. The new product will extend usability by allowing connectivity with existing business voice and video solutions from Cisco, Polycom, Lifesize, Avaya and Vidyo. VidyoH2O™ for Google+ Hangouts will be offered on a subscription basis both on-prem and as a cloud-hosted product.

The tool will be available on March 31st as a subscription based service for $99/port/month for an on-premise license or as a cloud hosted license for $149/port/month.

It certainly is interesting and with virtual video conferencing costing thousands to just buy and then set up, this could be a great alternative to businesses that normally wouldn’t consider using video conferencing.

Would your business consider using a Chromebox with Google+ Hangouts for Meetings?

Source: Google BlogVidyo.
Via: 9to5 Google.