Google developed a high-tech whiteboard that costs $4,999 and is now available to purchase. While that seems a bit pricey, it is a much more affordable solution compared to Microsoft's competing Surface Hub, which starts at $8.999 and goes up from there, depending on the size and configuration. In this case, Google's Jamboard measures 55 inches and comes with a pair or styluses, and eraser, and a wall mount.
What makes Jamboard unique from a regular whiteboard is the technology inside. It is described as a cloud-based collaborative whiteboard, which allows teams in different parts of the world to collaborate on projects in real-time as if they were in the same room. It's a rather neat concept, as some of Google's high-profile clients are more than happy to attest.
"Jamboard breaks down barriers to interactive, visual collaboration across teams everywhere," said Shaown Nandi, chief information officer at Dow Jones. "It’s the perfect anchor for a meeting and encourages impromptu, productive sessions. We can easily add any content to the Jamboard to capture great ideas from everyone. We immediately saw the benefits."
Jamboard features a 4K resolution touchscreen display that's powered by NVIDIA's Jetson TX1 embedded computer. It has a 120Hz touch scan rate and 60Hz video refresh rate. It also features 802.11ac Wi-Fi and GbE LAN connectivity, Google Cast support.
For collaborating with teams remotely, Jamboard has built-in wide-angle cameras, built-in microphones, and down firing speakers. There is also an app available on both Android and iOS platforms so that users can join collaborative sessions on their smartphones and tablets.
While the upfront cost is cheaper than a Surface Hub, there is a required management and support fee that runs $300 per year if purchased before September 30, 2017, or $600 per year if purchased after that date. Google also charges extra for a rolling stand—it runs $1,199 if purchased before the aforementioned date, or $1,349 if purchased after.
A G Suite plan is also required, as it's critical to the overall functionality of the Jamboard. With G Suite, users can access files from Drive, such as images and videos.
Google is making Jamboard available to existing G. Suite subscribers in the U.S. first, followed by availability in the UK and Canada this summer and more countries over time.