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Google Unveils Jamboard, A Cloud-Connected Digital Whiteboard

Designed for G Suite customers, Jamboard is an integrated hardware and software system aimed at fostering team collaboration.

Google Tuesday unveiled a digital whiteboard designed to foster team collaboration by integrating with its cloud-based software suite.

Jamboard, developed for customers of the G Suite (formerly Google Apps) portfolio of cloud-based office productivity tools, offers a 55-inch screen that users can write on or throw content to from other sources, then save their work in the cloud, according to a blog posted by TJ Varghese, a product manager at Google, Mountain View, Calif.

The product's hardware features a 4K resolution screen, built-in HD camera, speakers and Wi-Fi. Jamboard will retail for less than $6,000 when it's released in 2017, according to Varghese.

[Related: Google Rebrands Enterprise Business As Google Cloud, And Apps As G Suite]

Google initially is partnering with BenQ to bring the product to market by tapping the Taiwanese hardware manufacturer's network of channels and resellers, a Google spokesperson told CRN. Later the product will be opened up to Google's reseller community.

Jamboard can discern different contact surfaces against its screen, enabling features like wiping work off the screen by using one's fingers. It can recognize handwriting and shapes, and offers tools like sticky notes and stencils.

The product also integrates with a smartphone and tablet app, making it possible to collaborate on a project remotely.

Users can pull work onto Jamboard from other G Suite products, like Docs, Sheets and Slides, or pull content directly from the web. Work created on Jamboard gets stored on Google Drive, preserving it in the cloud for future sessions.

Allen Falcon, CEO of Cumulus Global, a Westborough, Mass.-based Google G Suite reseller, said Jamboard provides Google with a competitive offering to Microsoft's Surface Hub, Samsung's line of interactive whiteboards, and other products on the market, like the SMART Board series.

"I think this is the next evolution and provides a missing component on the Chrome for Meetings platform," Falcon told CRN.

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