Google Launches Chromebox for Meetings

Chromeboxes are popping up all over. Following the release earlier this week of a desktop Chrome OS-based Chromebox from Asus, HP has announced its first Chrome OS model and now, Google is launching a packaged Chromebox designed for business meetings.

GoogleEUs offering could point this growing platform in a new direction -- video conferencing. The new solution is called the Chromebox for meetings, and starts at the relatively expensive -- for a Chromebox -- price of $999, although that includes a $250 first-year fee for management and support.

This model is designed to showcase Google+ Hangouts, which offers video conferencing, and Google Apps. It is built around an Intel Core i7 processor, and features a high-definition camera with a Zeiss autofocus lens, a combined dual omni-directional microphone and speaker unit with a noise filter, and a remote control with a full QWERTY keyboard. The tech giant said that users can set up a video conference room in minutes, and can manage all meeting rooms from a Web-based management console. A screen display is not included.

Asus, HP, Dell

Setting up, Google said, requires a single click on the remote control, which immediately places the user in the virtual meeting room. A laptop screen can be shared wirelessly with the conferencing participants, and the system provides integration with Google Apps for inviting others and adding rooms right from Google Calendar.

A video meeting room can take up to 15 video feeds from the participantsEU computers or mobile devices, as long as they have Gmail accounts. ThereEUs also integration with traditional video conferencing systems using a tool from a company called Vidyo, or phone-only participants can join through UberConference.

GoogleEUs Chromebox for meetings uses the Asus Chromebox launched earlier this week, and Chromeboxes from HP or Dell will soon be available in the packaged solution. By itself,...

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