Friday, February 7, 2014

Chromebox for Meetings brings affordable enterprise videoconference to the masses

If you ever looked at the price tag of "professional" video-conference systems, you might have risked having a heart attack. Those exorbitant prices may have been justified in a time where there were no other alternatives and companies had to pay for expensive internet connections. But nowadays... one can't stop but think: I surely could most of that stuff using off-the-shelf devices for a lot, lot less!

Now, Google wants to everyone to know they feel the same way to, and has just announced their Chromebox for Meetings. This is a Chromebox based system (no surprise there) that offers enterprise quality videoconferencing based on Hangouts, and starting at "just" $999. Not very affordable to use at home, but insanely competitive for the enterprise market, even when you factor in the $250 annual fee after the first year.

The system includes a i7 Chromebox from Asus, an HD camera, speaker, microphone and remote control, and you can even connect it to traditional videoconferencing systems and regular phones using some other helper service. They key point is that this Chromebox for Meetings is easy to setup and use, allowing up to 15 simultaneous people on each room and including specific management software for the task at hand.

I'll still be using the regular people's Hangout whenever I need to, but if you're a company that is paying ten times as much for your current videoconferencing system... maybe you'll want to consider changing to this new Chromebox solution from Google. (Although I do want to know the price of that tiny Asus i7 Chromebox, because there's a lot we could do with it. :)

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