Google is once again expanding its hardware offering by entering the webcam business – but this offering screams more of Cisco than Logitech. The company sells bundles of video conferencing equipment titled Series One Space Sets, which are about the somewhat ubiquitous Google Meet conference service and what group meetings might look like in the near future.
The company’s design intent does not look like the current environment, where everyone shows up in their pajamas at meetings, but one where parts of the workforce are cycled into the office and group meetings are held in large spaces with socially distant participants. Some governments are already pushing employers to adopt such a hybrid staffing model.
Google’s Series 1 hardware comes in sets designed for small, medium and large spaces. All sizes include a Meet AI computing device running Chrome OS – loaded with an Intel Core i7 processor and Google Edge TPUs – that automatically control the image crop for a wide-angle camera provided by Huddly (1080p for small and medium, 4K for large) and a Smart Audio Bar with Tensor processors that deliver TrueVoice noise reduction and clarity.
Series 1 space set.
The small set gets remote control, while the medium and large are equipped with a 10.1 “touch screen unit from Mimo Monitors. Mic Pods – of which the medium set gets one, the big two – for extended sound distance for individual participants. The large also receives an extra Meetings can be started or connected by calling Google Assistant. Everything except the computer can receive power via Ethernet, also through daisy-chaining.
Lenovo handles Series 1 sales in the following countries:
- New Zealand
- The United Kingdom
- United States
Prices start at $ 2,699 for the small space set, $ 2,999 for the medium and $ 3,999 for the large one. Availability has begun in November.
These sets join other Google Meet setups for sale from ASUS, Acer and yes, Logitech. Google’s offerings are priced competitively with ASUS up to the large kit, but that’s not the equivalent of $ 5,098. Logitech asks for the tap kit, which is the same size.