Turn Hangouts into business meetings with Google’s new hardware suite

Google Hangouts Meet hardware
Google Hangouts Meet is designed to transform the typical Hangout into a chat system for businesses and now the platform has the hardware to match. On Tuesday, October 31, Google announced the Hangouts Meet hardware, a set of tools for video chats for businesses, with a touchscreen controller, speaker mic, 4K camera and the Asus Chromebox.

Together, the system works as a way for businesses to allow video meetings without the low quality of a webcam but also without the complex set up of more advanced systems. Along with integration into Google Hangouts video chat, the system is also integrated with Google Calendar, with options to view the meeting or join a scheduled meeting with a tap on the touchscreen.  G Suite Enterprise customers can also save the recording to Google Drive.

Video is recorded through the Huddly Go, a 4K camera with a 120-degree angle that allows more meeting participants to fit in the field of view without crowding around each other. But besides the resolution and field of view, the Huddly Go uses machine learning to adapt to the number of people actually in that virtual meeting. Huddly said that the camera recognizes how many people are in the frame, then automatically adjusts the lighting and volume. That same software can also detect who is talking and use digital zoom and tilt to frame the speaker.

Huddly says that the camera’s wide-angle view, small design, and software coupled with an API program allowed for easy integration led to the camera’s inclusion on the hardware suite.

The camera is controlled through the touchscreen, along with options for presenting through a laptop using the HDMI port. Google designed the speaker mic with a focus on eliminating echoes and background noise. Up to five of the mics can be used with the system for larger meetings. An Asus Chromebox brings it all together, including automatic hardware updates.

The announcement also comes with new features for G Suite Enterprise, including meetings up to 50 people, more countries on the dial-in option and recording meetings to Google Drive.

“We are very excited about the new Hangouts Meet hardware, particularly the easy-to-use touchscreen,” Bradley Rhodes, an IT analyst at Woolworths Limited, said in a statement. “The enhancements greatly improve the user experience and simplify our meeting rooms. We have also seen it create new ways for our team to collaborate, like via the touch-to-record functionality which allows absent participants to catch up more effectively.”

The new hardware set retails for $1,999 for the entire suite. The Huddly Go camera also sells for $499 separately.


Microsoft will end support for Windows 7 one year from now

Microsoft is set to end extended support for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020, putting a halt on the free bug fixes, and security patches for most who have the operating system installed. 

Android vs. iOS: Which smartphone platform is the best?

If you’re trying to choose a new phone and you’re not sure about the merits and pitfalls of the leading smartphone operating systems, then come on in for a detailed breakdown as we pit Android vs. iOS in various categories.

Don't spend hundreds on Pro Tools or Logic. Try one of these free alternatives

Believe it or not, Pro Tools isn't the only digital audio workstation worth your time. Check out our picks for the best free recording software, whether you're looking for a lightweight app or a full-blown audio workstation.

The 8-seat, 3-row 2020 Telluride SUV is the biggest Kia ever

It's fitting that the 2020 Kia Telluride debuts at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, as it was built specifically to meet U.S. buyers' insatiable demand for SUVs. Kia packed the eight-seat cabin with family-friendly tech as well.

Faster new PCIe 5.0 standard leapfrogs the best feature of AMD’s Ryzen 3

PCIe 5.0 will bring even faster data transfers, but it may only be found on HPCs and servers initially. The standard is four times faster than your current PC at transferring data, and new devices could appear later this year.

From Chromebooks to MacBooks, here are the best laptop deals for January 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some post-holiday shopping, we've got you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.
Product Review

LG Gram 14 proves 2-in-1 laptops don’t need to sacrifice battery for light weight

The LG Gram 14 2-in-1 aims to be very light for a laptop that converts to a tablet. And it is. But it doesn’t skimp on the battery, and so it lasts a very long time on a charge.

Keep your laptop battery in tip-top condition with these handy tips

Learn how to care for your laptop's battery, how it works, and what you can do to make sure yours last for years and retains its charge. Check out our handy guide for valuable tips, no matter what type of laptop you have.

Protect your expensive new laptop with the best Macbook cases

If you recently picked up a new MacBook, you’ll want something to protect its gorgeous exterior. Here, we've gathered the best MacBook cases and covers, whether you're looking for style or protection.

Watch out for these top-10 mistakes people make when buying a laptop

Buying a new laptop is exciting, but you need to watch your footing. There are a number of pitfalls you need to avoid and we're here to help. Check out these top-10 laptop buying mistakes and how to avoid them.

Don't spend a fortune on a PC. These are the best laptops under $300

Buying a laptop needn't mean spending a fortune. If you're just looking to browse the internet, answer emails, and watch Netflix, you can pick up a great laptop at a great price. These are the best laptops under $300.

Dell XPS 13 vs. Asus Zenbook 13: In battle of champions, who will be the victor?

The ZenBook 13 UX333 continues Asus's tradition of offering great budget-oriented 13-inch laptop offerings. Does this affordable machine offer enough value to compete with the excellent Dell XPS 13?

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome HTC Vive games

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.

The Asus ZenBook 13 offers more value and performance than Apple's MacBook Air

The Asus ZenBook 13 UX333 is the latest in that company's excellent "budget" laptop line, and it looks and feels better than ever. How does it compare to Apple's latest MacBook Air?