Google is expanding its hardware offering again by entering the webcam business. However, this offer calls for Cisco more than Logitech. The company sells video conferencing equipment packages called Series One Room Kits, which revolve around the somewhat ubiquitous Google Meet conferencing service and what group meetings might look like in the near future.
The company’s design intent does not relate to the current environment in which everyone appears in meetings in pajamas, but rather to an environment in which sections of the workforce are brought into the office and group meetings take place in large rooms with socially distant participants. Some governments are already pushing employers to adopt such a hybrid workforce model.
Google Series One hardware comes in kits for small, medium, and large rooms. All sizes include a Meet AI computer unit running Chrome OS – equipped with an Intel Core i7 processor and Google Edge TPUs – that automatically controls image cropping for a wide-angle camera provided by Huddly (1080p for small and medium, 4K for large )) and a Smart Audio Bar with Tensor processors for TrueVoice noise reduction and clarity.
Series One Medium Room Kit.
The small kit receives a remote control, while the medium and large ones are equipped with a 10.1-inch touchscreen unit from Mimo Monitors. Mic Pods – of which the middle kit receives one and the large two – for a greater acoustic range for individual participants Receives an additional audio bar. Meetings can be started or joined by going to the Google Assistant. Everything but the computer can be powered through Ethernet, including daisy chaining.
Lenovo conducts sales for the Series 1 in the following countries:
- New Zealand
- Great Britain
- United States
Prices start at $ 2,699 for the small room kit, $ 2,999 for the medium, and $ 3,999 for the large. Availability should begin in November.
These kits are available for sale along with other Google Meet setups from ASUS, Acer, and, yes, Logitech. Google’s offering is competitively priced with ASUS up to the large kit, but doesn’t match the $ 5,098 that Logitech is asking for the comparatively large tap kit.