Google Cloud debuts Hangouts hardware kit for enterprise customers

1 Nov 2017

Google has launched new hardware for better video calls. Image: s4svisuals/Shutterstock

G Suite Enterprise customers may be interested in this new hardware offering.

With a large number of teams relying on both in-house and remote workers to keep businesses running, as well as the ever-growing global economic landscape, more and more businesses are investing in enterprise-level solutions to keep up a healthy level of communication.

One such offering is the recent debut of Hangouts Meet, an evolution of Google Hangouts specifically geared towards businesses. Google also recently launched Jamboard, a collaborative brainstorming tool that can be used within meetings.

Hangouts Meet hardware

Launched yesterday (31 October), the Hangouts Meet hardware is a kit that can ostensibly help businesses take advantage of video-meeting benefits.

The kit consists of four components: a touchscreen controller, speaker mic, 4K sensor Ultra HD camera and ASUS Chromebox.

Google Hangouts hardware

Google Hangouts hardware. Image: Google

The new controller can allow people to join scheduled events in Google Calendar or view meeting details with a tap, and it can also pin or mute team members and control the camera. Using a HDMI cable, you can present using the remote with a laptop and can dial participants in to meetings. If you’re already a G Suite Enterprise edition customer, your meetings can be recorded directly to Google Drive.

Up to five of the speaker mics can be daisy-chained together with a single wire, and the camera is built with machine-learning technology to intelligently detect participants, automatically cropping and zooming to frame them.

The Chromebox can automatically push updates to other components in the hardware kit, and remote device monitoring and management is a positive for IT managers who want to stay in control of remote meetings.

Software updates

As well as the new hardware, updates include the ability to record meetings to Drive and let your team members catch up on what they missed; the option to host meetings with up to 50 participants; and global dial-in that will automatically update your listing to another phone number if you have to travel for work.

The new offerings from Google are an example of the continued push towards cloud or hybrid-cloud based products and services that companies are increasingly looking at as the future for their business practices.

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects