Google has launched a new Google Meet video call setup, but don’t get too excited: it’s designed for meeting spaces, not work at home video chats. A work by Google and Lenovo, the Google Meet Series One system includes a set of microphones with eight built-in microphones, a 4K smart camera and intelligence, says Google, to ignore the sound of their sneaky snacks in the middle of the meeting.
This comes down to TrueVoice processing integrated into the Smart Audio Bar. Its eight microphones feature beam formation, with the potential to process up to 44 channels of audio simultaneously. This means that the system can filter out background noise, such as typing or rustling snacks, while identifying voices.
Two different cameras will be offered, in normal or extra large format. Both have support for 4K resolution, with the standard Smart Camera with 12 megapixel sensor, while the Smart Camera XL promises 20.3 megapixels and 4.3x zoom. Instead of having a lens that moves physically – which has more potential parts that can go wrong – Google is using a virtual pan / tilt / zoom system, with automatic participant cropping.
The medium and large kits are controlled with a 10.1 inch touchscreen tablet, with a discreet design to keep you surreptitious on the table. It is powered by a single cable, says Google, while the system as a whole uses Power over Ethernet (PoE) to simplify wiring. Google and Lenovo also color-coded the included cables, so connecting everything should be as simple as following a diagram.
Google will have different Series One room kits, sized to suit small, medium and large spaces. Individual microphones and an additional audio bar will be offered separately, so smaller kits can be expanded later. For configuration, there is an automatic audio calibration system that promises to intelligently optimize the room’s acoustics.
The custom control box is running Meet on Chrome OS and obtains the usual automatic updates and security patches that we are familiar with on the Chromebook. There is also a rechargeable remote control, included in the kits for small rooms, and integration with Google Assistant for voice control when attending meetings, turning the microphones on and off and ending the meeting.
There will be two color finishes – charcoal and chalk – with the visible hardware being covered by fabric. What they won’t be is cheap, at least if you’re thinking in terms of webcams. Calculate $ 2,699 for the small room kit, $ 2,999 for the medium version, and finally, $ 3,999 for the larger version. Orders will open soon.