Google on Tuesday unveiled Jamboard, a digital whiteboard designed for enterprise customers. The board comes with two stylus pens and a digital eraser that enable you to write and erase just like on a traditional whiteboard.
The Jamboard is all about collaborating in the workplace. You can work with colleagues around the globe who are also using a Jamboard. Information can be shared from the web or via a companion app on your smartphone or tablet to pull in work from Docs, Sheets and Slides, or add photos stored in Google Drive.
After a brainstorming session is done, it is saved in Google's cloud and you can share it with colleagues. It's an attempt to save you the hassle of writing "Do not erase" on a whiteboard before leaving a conference room.
The board is equipped with a 55-inch touchscreen with a 4K resolution. It also includes an HD webcam, Wi-Fi and internal speakers. On the software side, it features productivity tools like sticky notes and stencils, along with handwriting and shape recognition. The board can also sense if you're using your finger to wipe something off the screen, as opposed to using a stylus to write something. The board is also portable, sort of. It features a single-cable setup and is mounted on a stand with wheels.
The Jamboard will be priced under $6,000 and will be available in 2017.
The new device puts Google in square competition with Microsoft and its Surface Hub, the large-screen collaboration device Microsoft unveiled last year. The 55-inch version of that product starts at $9,000. Google said some of its corporate customers, like Netflix and Spotify, are already experimenting with the Jamboard.
The announcement comes as Google gets more serious about hardware. Earlier this month, the search giant unveiled a slew of new devices during a splashy event in San Francisco. The new gadgets included the first real Google phone, called the Pixel, as well as a smart home hub, a virtual reality headset and a smart Wi-Fi router.
This isn't the first time Google has focused on hardware for the workplace. It also has a videoconferencing screen called the Chromebase, which runs its Chrome OS operating system. But for that product, it teamed up with outside manufacturers, like Acer.
First published October 25, 9:53 a.m. PT.
Update, 11:44 a.m. PT: Adds information throughout.