Chromebox for meetings, the new conferencing system from Google, is set to compete with leading video conferencing apps from vendors like Polycom and Cisco.
Chromebox for meetings is available in the U.S. today starting at $999, which includes the ASUS Chromebox along with the accessories required for the conference.
The launch comes on the heels of IDC’s recent research wherein it said the videoconferencing industry is set to see the impact of lower-cost video systems and more software-centric products and offerings on the enterprise video equipment market.
Combining the best of Google+ Hangouts and Google Apps, Chromebox makes collaboration easier for small, medium and large businesses, Google said.
“Any company can upgrade their meeting rooms with a new Chromebox, built on the Chrome principles of speed, simplicity and security,” Caesar Sengupta, VP, Product Management, said in his recent blogpost.
The Intel Core i7-based Chromebox provides an instant meeting room with high-definition camera, a combined microphone and speaker unit and a remote control. The conferencing system can be set up in minutes. All you need is the display in your room, the company said.
There is no dial-in codes, passcodes or leader PINs. Laptop screen can be shared wirelessly. Integration with Google Apps makes it easy to invite others and add rooms to video meetings, directly from Google Calendar.
The conferencing system supports up to 15 participants from other conference rooms through their laptops, tablets or smartphones. Users who don’t use Chromebox can also participate in the conference. All they need is a Gmail account.
Users can also connect to traditional video conferencing systems using a new tool from Vidyo.
Google claims Chromebox is offered for such a lower price that companies can now outfit 10 rooms or more with the same price they typically paid for one meeting room.
CDW and SYNNEX will help bring Chromebox for meetings to customers and resellers. Chromeboxes from HP and Dell will be available for meetings in the coming months. The company plans to launch them in Australia, Canada, France, Japan, New Zealand, Spain and the U.K.
Google has already got positive feedback about the application from companies like Eventbrite, Gilt, oDesk and Woolworths.
Currently Cisco leads the video conferencing market with 44.7 percent share. However, its revenue declined by 7.6 percent year over year in third quarter 2013.
Polycom’s revenue decreased 14.5 percent year over year in the quarter. Polycom ranks second in enterprise videoconferencing equipment with a 23.9 percent share of the worldwide market.
Overall videoconferencing equipment revenue increased 8.2 percent quarter over quarter in third quarter of 2013, but declined 9.7 percent year over year to $576 million.