When a new digital whiteboard enters the market, to me, its always exciting. But when that digital whiteboard comes from our friends at Super-Tech Giant, Google, it’s really going to get some attention. Enter the Google Jamboard; Google’s answer to collaboration for colleagues both inside the workplace and who work remotely. In this review, we look at the cool features of the Google Jamboard and ask when will we be able to get the Google Jamboard in the UK?
With a fun name, colourful plastic encasements and cartoon-like brand graphics, the Google Jamboard is certainly a more playful collaboration tool than other more ‘corporate’ looking digital whiteboards on the market. Once you’ve chosen either a red, blue or grey surround you can then start writing on the board with chunky chalk-like digital crayons. The digital ink can then be easily wiped away with either your hand or the soft circular eraser.
You use it like a regular whiteboard – but everything is digital. Add ‘sticky notes’, add sketches, clippings, photos and write notes. In fact you can import anything from your G-Suite, including content from the web, which can be edited, enlarged, cropped or manipulated as needed. And here’s the clever part; intuitive technology can decode what you are trying to write or draw and replace it with a clear font or image. So a wonky circular (ish) shape becomes a perfect circle. Even partially illegible scribbles can be deciphered by Google’s clever handwriting tools that converts your notes into clear text.
Jamboard for Remote Collaboration
Combined with Google Hangouts and the inbuilt camera and sound system, colleagues can brainstorm together on the Jamboard even when they are working remotely. This means that, in the same way that colleagues may work together on Google Docs from different locations or devices, so too they can work together on the Jamboard digital whiteboard. This is really helpful when sharing or developing ideas in a brainstorming environment, as when you write your ideas on the Jamboard, your remote colleagues can see those changes and make their own, in real time, from their personal device, as if they were in the same room. It’s all done through the Jamboard app that you can download to use from your tablet or mobile. Not only does it enable remote collaboration, it also means that you can access or continue with previous ‘Jams’ even after the meeting is finished. Other people can also view the ‘Jams’ and add their own ‘sticky notes’ to be reviewed and considered in follow up meetings.
Cloud-based Sharing on the Jamboard
What’s great about the Jamboard over so many digital whiteboards is that it saves automatically, continuously, because all of your ‘Jams’ are in the cloud. If you’re familiar with G-Suite apps then it works in just the same way. It means you can stop and pick up again at any time, on any board or from your personal device, without worrying if someone has saved the work. You simply connect to G-Suite to view the saved brainstorms.
The Jamboard Hardware
As far as quality goes, the Jamboard offers an exceptional experience for its users; the 55 inch 4K Ultra HD screen touch-screen, is enabled to support up to 16 point touch across the screen, enabling eight people to ‘Jam’ simultaneously. The screen works with a 120Hz touch-scan rate and 60Hz video refresh rate which means there is no visible lag, and accuracy is pin-pointed to 1mm. The screen offers wi-fi, Bluetooth and NFC connectivity, and an HD front facing, wide angled camera, microphone and built in speakers. Additional spec includes HDMi, USB Type C and 3.0 ports and Gigabit Ethernet. G-Suite and Google cast are, of course, also included.
Limitations of the Jamboard
As far as digital whiteboards go the Jamboard has a lot of impressive features, but there is one main drawback: it only really works as a viable solution for organisations that are dedicated to GSuite. For the organisations that are, just be aware that this is essentially a digital whiteboard, which means that you can’t use it for editing documents – only for annotating over them. If that works for you, then the Jamboard is a great option. Do remember, however, that the $5000 price tag does not include your annual service fees which will stand at $600 a month and a mobile stand will cost a further $1200, or UK equivalent value.
Google Jamboard in the UK
Google have promised that the Jamboard will be available to us in the UK this summer!! To receive the latest updates of availability and UK pricing, please fill out the form and we’ll be in touch!