Google’s Jamboard, launched in early developer mode challenger to Microsoft Surface Hub

Google’s Jamboard, launched in early developer mode challenger to Microsoft Surface Hub

New Delhi, March11:Google’s Jamboard, which was launched in early developer preview in October 2016, will be made available for enterprises in May 2017. The company made the announcement at its Next conference in San Francisco. Now the Jamboard is an actual 4K whiteboard with a set of wheels at the bottom, thus making it more portable. The display will cost around $4,999, plus a $600 management and support fee.

The Jamboard is being seen as a challenger to Microsoft Surface Hub. The latter is a 55-inch touchscreen where people can write, draw, etc, and the Jamboard is also the same size. But Google’s board has a lower price, compared to Hub’s $8,999 starting price.

Google announced the general availability for the Jamboard alongside a revamped Hangouts and GSuite, and the new board will pull on some of these capabilities. GSuite App includes Hangouts, Gmail, Google Drive, etc but geared towards enterprises. Hangouts, which was the messaging app, has been divided into two apps: Hangouts Meet for video and Hangouts Chat for text based messaging, but of course the focus here is on enterprise.

Jamboard will sync with the Hangouts Meet app as well, and enterprise customers will be able to collaborate together on an idea, and these will reflect on the board, even if they are not on the same place or room as Google showed during the demo.

Based on the demo, even those who are not actually near the Jamboard can contribute their ideas to it, thanks to GSuite or other companion apps. Team members can grab pictures, text, etc from the web and paste them on their board, all of which is reflected real-time on the Jamboard. Also the data, text shared or created on the Jamboard will be automatically backed up to the Google Drive.

While the Jamboard looks like an exciting way to revamp collaboration for enterprise teams, it’s not coming to all the markets. For now, the availability will be limited to USA. When asked about Jamboard’s possible India launch, Prabhakar Raghavan who is the VP for Apps at Google Cloud, said this limited release was due to standardisation issues.

“So this is an actual physical device, and it needs additional certifications, according to regulations of each particular country. So far it has only been certified in the USA, and we are working on getting more certifications,” said Raghavan in an interaction with members of the media.

The Jamboard has 16 simultaneous touch points, and can recognise handwriting, shapes and comes with built-in tilt and wide-angle camera support. There are also speakers, built-in microphones, along with NFC support along with WiFi.