Google spins Chromebox for enterprise video conferencing

Google spins Chromebox for enterprise video conferencing

Summary: Chromebox for meetings fuses two of Google's most collaboration-friendly products: Google+ Hangouts and Google Apps.


Google is giving the Chromebox a finer-tuned purpose, targeting business customers with a new video conferencing angle.

Unveiled at the company's Mountain View, Calif. headquarters on Thursday morning, Chromebox for meetings fuses two of Google's most collaboration-friendly products: Google+ Hangouts and Google Apps.

The evolution to Chromebox for meetings basically elevates Hangouts to the next level, jumping back from "good enough" telepresence to a simplified but a higher-quality, out-of-the-box virtual conference room.

The platform supports up to 15 participants, who can join the video meetings from virtually anywhere with an Internet connection via laptops, tablets or smartphones. The only Google-related technical requirement is an active Gmail account.

Otherwise, the program also supports some other existing third-party video conferencing platforms, such as Vidyo and UberConference.

Caesar Sengupta, vice president of product management at Google, explained in a blog post on Thursday that Chromebox for meetings should simplify the video conferencing experience, launching an "instant meeting room" -- or at least within minutes.

Walk into the room, click the remote once and you’re instantly in the meeting. No more complex dial-in codes, passcodes or leader PINs. Share your laptop screen wirelessly, no need for any cords and adapters. Integration with Google Apps makes it easy to invite others and add rooms to video meetings, directly from Google Calendar.


Google has already tapped a few customers to test out the new version of Chromebox, including tech brands Eventbrite, Gilt, and oDesk.

Chromebox for meetings is rolling out in the United States first, starting today with the price tag of $999. That includes the new ASUS Chromebox, which debuted earlier this week for $179 on its own.

The package deal also includes a full HD camera with a Carl Zeiss autofocus lens and automatic low-light correction, a dual omni-directional microphone/speaker with a noise filter and wideband frequency response, and a remote control sporting a full QWERTY keyboard and a nano-sized USB adapter

Google promised to extend availability to Australia, Canada, France, Japan, New Zealand, Spain and the United Kingdom later this year.


Images via Google

Topics: Enterprise 2.0, Collaboration, Enterprise Software, Google, Google Apps

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Google spins Chromebox for enterprise video conferencing

    Enterprise video conferencing, sounds interesting.
  • so now all your business partners

    get thrown in with all your goofy friends and the guy you just conferenced over at ibm or some other major company gets silly invites from your friends for drinking parties
    • If you aren't bright enough...

      ... to separate your personal and private accounts, you deserve having your major customers getting silly invites from your friends for drinking parties. You're brighter than that, right?
      • Business Gmail accounts would be a company domain account.

        Just so everyone is clear, Google Apps for Domains accounts would be a separate Google Apps for Domains account with an email domain associated with the business eg. as opposed to personal Gmail accounts like Fred's passwords and all data and settings would be separate just like your corporate Windows login and your personal Yahoo email accounts are separate.
  • Well, Google has another way of snooping into your business

    Good Luck.
    Ram U
    • Not any more than any other video-over-internet.

      Or Microsoft knows about your private calls on Skype...

      Or any of them knows from your private mail...
    • how does google make money from this?

      oh yeah they listen in and then send you ads based on what they hear what the things you are talking about. jet fuel? you get ads from joe's jet fuel palace or exon.
      • You didn't notice the price tag?

        $ 999.

        No advertisement.
      • Wow, that's really bad -

        ......sending you discrete targeted ads when you go to a webpage with Google ads on it - how despicable. Compared that to the likes of Facebook and Microsoft who are likely to sell your data on to third parties because their targeted advertising capability is very limited.
    • Google won't need the NSA anymore

      once companies start paying Google for the privilege of having Google listen in on, and record, these video conferences.
      • Preacher a.k.a-Bill

        As the saying goes, provide the proof you hath claim......
        • Flags

          Just more work for the moderators, be a little bit more than coward lion... :)
      • No more than you have to pay Microsoft for the privilege of

        having Microsoft listen in on, and record your video conferences, phone calls, music, ...
  • Chrome OS device are limiting

    Its great all the Google Chromebox and Chromebooks except that its just another walled garden.
    In fact Apple's garden is far more open then Google's. That's really saying something.
    I tried to like a Chromebook, what's not to like? Its inexpensive, very fast to boot, has a adequate amount of apps although as I said they are basically in Google's system. Its very cheap and not without limiting issues that make its value less. I guess if your a business looking for a cheap thrown together network then a Chrome OS system might be for you. However you basically get what you paid for.
    • chrome box

      Cb can actually run Windows apps through aikotech thinserver solution
    • Low walls

      A Chrome OS device does not force you to use *any* Google products. Like Microsoft SkyDrive? Fine, use it. Prefer Outlook to Gmail? Fine, use it. The only lock-in is to the Chrome browser, which is the fastest, most secure browser available.

      "Google's Safe Browsing is used by Chrome, Firefox and Safari, which all came within four percentage of each other and were the top three browsers in catching malicious websites. Microsoft IE was a distant 13 percentage points behind the leader."
  • Other reports indicate the ChromeBox is higher-end than the $179 one

    The ChromeBox isn't the same one offered for $179 ... indications are it's much higher-end (i saw one report indicating an i7 processor).