Featured Article from Conferencing

Google Making Video Conferencing Affordable

May 21, 2014

The video conferencing industry is in the midst of a major shift as customers abandon specialized hardware platforms with large capital expenditures for software solutions. As established companies contemplate their future, many new players have recently entered the market bringing solutions with new approaches to video conferencing. Whether it is cloud based solutions, Web RTC or systems with affordable price points, the market is looking good for consumers eyeing video conferencing systems for home or business. One company making a splash in the market is Google, with a $999 system.

In an article written by Dereck Crowden on groundreport.com, the Google video conferencing platform is highlighted as being a viable option for small businesses and startups, and as such the system has limitations.

The platform can accommodate a maximum of 15 participants, which limits large video conferencing sessions available on more expensive models. But this device was designed as an affordable unit to give small organizations a practical solution and not compete with its larger and more expensive counterparts.

Once a connection has been established, participants can join a conference using a laptop, smart phone or tablet from virtually anywhere. Chromebox also provides traditional video conferencing services such as Vidyo and UberConference so users can connect and dial into conference calls.

The $999 price tag doesn't include a monitor, but everything else comes as part of the package which includes: a Chromebox computer with an Intel Core i7 processor; combined speaker-microphone unit; high definition camera; remote control; HDMI and Display Port sockets; four USB 3.0 ports, Ethernet, and 802.11 a/b/g/n wireless connections; and software to run the system.

Google provides support for the first year, but additional protection has to be purchased for an annual fee of $250 for each Chromebox system. The system is currently available in the U.S., and Chromebox built by Dell and HP will ship in the next few months.

The Chromebox is not going to take market shares from the likes of Polycom, but for business looking for an affordable video conferencing solution, it will do just fine.

Edited by Maurice Nagle