Google announced $1,999 of hardware for video-conferencing

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Google

Google has announced some new hardware: A set of devices to help businesses with video conferencing.

The Hangouts Meet hardware comprises of a touchscreen controller, a 4K camera, a speakermic, and a Chromebox computer – and shows how the Californian tech giant is increasingly trying to become more than just a software company.

“The transformative power of video meetings is wasted if it’s not affordable and accessible to all organizations,” Google product manager Katie Roberts-Hoffman wrote in a blog post announcing the news on Tuesday. “So today, we’re introducing Hangouts Meet hardware-a new way to bring high-quality video meetings to businesses of any size. We’re also announcing new software updates designed to make your meetings even more productive.”

In short: It’s a set of devices designed to run with Google’s video-conferencing software, Hangouts Meet, to ensure meetings go smoothly.

The speakermic is designed by Google, the company said, and “actively eliminates echo and background noise to provide crisp, clear audio.” Meanwhile, the Chromebox – a computer running Google’s ChromeOS operating system – is built by Asus. The camera will identify faces using machine learning and zoom in and crop them.

It’s all selling for $1,999 (£1,500) in “select markets around the globe.”

The devices come after Google recently announced a suite of more consumer-facing hardware, including its new Pixel 2 iPhone-rivalling smartphones, the Google Home Mini and Max smartphone speakers, and the language-translating Pixel Buds headphones.