Technology 3 min read

Google Releases AI-Boosted Hardware for Virtual Meetings

Alexandra_Koch / Pixabay.com

Alexandra_Koch / Pixabay.com

Google has rolled out new AI-boosted hardware called Series One to help organizations conduct virtual meetings effortlessly.

With more employees working from home, businesses now rely on virtual meetings to remain connected.

At first, Zoom became the tool of choice among organizations. The software’s adoption grew 30-fold to reach 300 daily participants in virtual meetings.

However, competitors such as Google has been making efforts to catch up.

Earlier in the year, the search giant reported adding 3 million daily users to its teleconferencing tool, Google Meet. That’s a 50 percent increase from early March.

Now, the tech giant is taking things a step further.

On Tuesday, Google unveiled video conferencing hardware suits that incorporate artificial intelligence. According to the report, the new tools will make conducting virtual meetings more convenient.

In a blog announcement, Group Product Manager of Google Meet hardware, TJ Varghese, said:

“Today, in partnership with Lenovo, we’re unveiling the next step in our vision to help customers prepare for the future with the Series One meeting room kits for Google Meet.”

Here’s how it works.

Using Google Meet’s Series One for Virtual Meetings

A GIF showing the camera zoom out as someone joins the meeting.
Google Cloud / Re-imagine your future workspace with Google Meet Series One hardware

Google Meet’s Series One comes with hardware that could reduce the messy clump of cable connections. These include:

  • A smart high-resolution camera
  • An audio bar that features eight built-in microphones
  • Woofer and tweeter
  • A touch screen controller

Users can choose between two smart cameras. The first has a 20.3-megapixel lens with 4.3X optical zoom, while the other is a less advanced 12-megapixel lens that’s ideal for smaller meetings.

The smart camera auto-frame participants of a virtual meeting as they speak. That way, users can fill their frame with a single speaker or multiple speakers sitting together at a table.

According to Google, the cameras can identify the number of people in a room based on physical bodies, sound, and other attributes. Also, it can monitor attendance and in-room safety protocols, such as social distancing.

Google also pointed out that the beam-forming microphones on the soundbar use AI to enhance audio clarity. It works with 44 simultaneous sound channels to filter common distractions in virtual meetings.

These include typing, the crackling of snack wraps, coughs, hiccups, and other bodily sounds.

“We understand fully well that the office is changing,” said Varghese. “Traditional conference rooms must be reconfigured.”

The Series One systems are not yet available. But, Google says the AI-powered hardware will be on the market soon.

Read More: Why Online Video Chat Matters During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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