Google+ Hangouts just got real. In an effort to make its video conferencing service more appealing to use in the workplace, Google has put together what it claims is the ultimate setup for holding video meetings.
The Chromebox comes with an Intel Core i7 processor, a high-definition camera, a microphone-speaker unit and a remote control – and it retails for $999. Isn’t this a bit elaborate for hardware that just lets you access Google+ Hangouts, a free online service? That depends on how you use video conferencing.
Chromebox allows you to easily set up a video conferencing room in your office. Besides a display, Chromebox provides all the hardware and software you need. Using the box should be equally easy, since you can enter meetings by clicking a button on the Chromebox remote as opposed to entering complicated passcodes or PINS, as required by many traditional video conferencing systems.
As with all Google products, Chromebox allows you to take advantage of the functionalities offered by Google apps. This lets you do things like invite other participants via Google Calendar.
Connecting With Others, Even Non-Chromebox Users
You can use Chromebox to connect with up to 15 participants on any device, including laptops, tablets, smartphones or even landlines. If you’d like to conference with people using non-Chromebox systems, you can do so through the help of Vidyo software. And if you want to connect with phone participants, they can dial in using an UberConference call number.
With no ongoing subscription fees to maintain and its ability to cohabit with other video conference software, Chromebox could be a useful and affordable tool for mid-sized companies that frequently host video calls.
According Google, Chromebox has already been successfully tested by Eventbrite, Gilt, oDesk and Woolworths.
Currently the Asus Chromebox is available in the U.S. only, though Google plans to launch Chromebox in Australia, Canada, France, Japan, New Zealand, Spain and the U.K. later this year. In the coming months Google also plans to release Chromeboxes manufactured by HP and Dell.
Learn more about Chromebox for meetings here.