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Conference calls are old school and videoconferencing can be quite expensive or a chore to set up. To remedy this, Google and Asus have launched Chromebox for Meetings. It’s an effort to simplify and give businesses a cheap way to operate with even more Google in their boardrooms via Google+ Hangouts. Chromebox is a powerful little computer running Chrome OS which is paired with a camera, a microphone and speaker, plus a remote control.
Chromebox for Meetings wants to be as user-friendly as possible. Anyone — be it the IT technician or the janitor — can plug it into their PC or TV display, complete the setup wizard, and start streaming conversations or share their personal devices screen wirelessly with people across the globe.
The brains behind the entire posse of peripherals, namely the Asus-made Chromebox, holds a decent fourth-gen Intel Core i7 processor. It has an HDMI and DisplayPort, four USB 3.0 slots and is Ethernet as well as Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n compatible.
In an official blog post announcing the launch, Google writes: “No more complex dial-in codes, passcodes or leader PINs. Share your laptop screen wirelessly, no need for any cords and adaptors.”
The remote control has a QWERTY keyboard on its back with simple call, mic and menu shortcut buttons. Then there’s also the full HD camera that automatically changes video quality relative to the bandwidth speed.
The Chromebox is also integrated with Google Apps which makes it easy to invite more than fifteen other people and add rooms to video meetings, directly from Google Calendar for instance. Vidyo, the company mainly behind Hangouts, recently announced a tool that allows third-party teleconferencing applications to join Google+ Hangouts.
Videoconferencing made easy, and relatively inexpensive at first. While Google+ Hangouts is free to use, the management and support package will put you back with an annual fee after its first year of free use.
Google says that both HP and Dell will join the videoconferencing party in the coming months.
Image via Engadet