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Google launches $2K Hangout Meet kit, new Google Cloud offerings

31 Octobre 2017

Earlier this year Google announced that it will be shutting down its Gchat platform and replacing it with Hangouts. But software is often only as good as the hardware through which it's delivered, and for high-bandwidth services such as video, this is particularly true.

The hardware kit consists of four pieces: a touchscreen controller, speaker mic, 4K sensor camera, and Asus Chromebox. The ChromeOS mini desktop computer is like the command center and can be used to monitor and manage other devices remotely.

The UHD camera offers a 120-degree field of view, which should "easily" get everyone at the table in the picture, Roberts-Hoffman wrote.

Google designed the speaker-mic to reduce echo and background noise.

According to Google, up to five speaker mics can be "daisy-chained" together with a single wire to help capture sound in particularly large rooms. It uses machine learning technology to intelligently identify different meeting members and crop the camera view to their face.

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It's worth noting here that some of the components that constitute the kit can be procured separately, but Google's intention is to make it an easy purchase by bundling everything together.

In other news, the company also announces new cloud networking capabilities including the general availability of Dedicated Interconnect, which allows for a private connection between a customer's datacenter and Google's network.

Additionally, Google announced that Hangouts Meet itself was receiving a few updates. You can also add participants with the dial-a-phone feature and present from a laptop via HDMI.

With the release of this hardware kit, Google is trying to give businesses another reason to make Hangouts Meet their go-to software for meetings and collaboration. Furthermore, the dial-in feature for users who are not on Hangouts is now available in "more than a dozen markets", though the company didn't elaborate on that.

Google launches $2K Hangout Meet kit, new Google Cloud offerings