Google has unveiled a new hardware kit and a number of new G Suite Enterprise Edition features that aims to improve video meetings. The new hardware kit, dubbed as the Hangouts Meet, consists of a touchscreen controller, a speakermic, a camera with 4K sensor, and a Chromebox manufactured by ASUS. The touchscreen controller allows the user to join meetings and obtain additional information about scheduled events. People can also present simply by connecting the laptop to the controller using an HDMI cable. The speakermic, on the other hand, is designed to eliminate echo and background noise. Up to 5 of the audio equipment can be connected together using a single wire, which is useful when covering a large area.
The 4K sensor camera has a 120-degree wide angle lens, which, according to Google, can be handy when trying to capture as many team members as possible in a small conference room. Like many of Google's recent offerings, the camera makes use of machine learning to frame participants automatically. Meanwhile, the ASUS Chromebox, which is powered by Chrome OS, provides IT administrators the ability to monitor and control the hardware kit remotely. The Chromebox will also push updates automatically to other components of the hardware kit, which is important in keeping the devices secure from malware.
Google is rolling out new and improved features to the Enterprise Edition of G Suite. Among the new features is the ability to record meetings and upload them to Google Drive. This feature can work even if the user does not have the Hangouts Meet hardware. Once somebody starts recording the meeting, participants will be notified, and the files are stored in the "Meet Recordings" folder of the meeting owner’s Google Drive. The recording is shared to all participants as an attachment to the event on Google Calendar. This feature is now available to users in the Rapid Release track while those in Scheduled Release track will get the feature within the two weeks. In addition, Hangouts Meet can support up to 50 participants in a meeting, and the dial-in feature is now available in more than a dozen countries. The Hangouts Meet hardware kit is priced at $1,999, and it is available in a select number of countries.