Google Adds New Features to Its Jamboard Whiteboard Technology

The updates to Google's Jamboard digital Whiteboard technology enable better collaboration in an enterprise setting, company says.

Google Jamboard Update

Google has added a total of eight new features to its Jamboard cloud-based digital whiteboard technology.

The updates are the first since Google introduced the product in May and, according to the company, are designed to improve collaboration in enterprises.

Jamboard is a 55-inch digital whiteboard that can be wall-mounted or moveable. The technology features a 4K touch-responsive monitor that allows users to input text, images and notes, which can then be shared digitally across the enterprise.

The product is targeted at customers of Google G Suite collection of cloud hosted office productivity applications. In order to use the whiteboard, a customer needs to already have a subscription to a G Suite plan.  Google has pitched the technology, with a retail price starting a $4,999 USD, as allowing enterprise project team members to more easily collaborate using data from G Suite apps.

Jamboard is similar to Microsoft's corporate-focused Surface Hub whiteboard computer models that include a 55-inch version priced at $8,199 and an 84-inch model priced at $2,199.

Among other capabilities, Jamboard supports the ability for users to join a collaborative session via Google Hangouts to share data, images and content pulled from applications such as Sheets, Docs, Slides or even from Google Search. A mobile Jamboard app lets iOS and Android users collaborate from their smartphones and tablets as well.

With this week's update, project teams can use Jamboard to collaborate with team members who are based not just in the United States, but in Canada and the United Kingdom as well.

One of the updates makes it easier for Jamboard users to select, duplicate, resize and move on-screen objects like post-it notes, stickers and images. Another update gives users the option of editing text—including deleting, adding or merging text—within an ongoing collaborative session using the passive stylus that comes along with the whiteboard.

As part of the updates, Google this week also introduced a feature for enabling quicker sharing and feedback on project-related work from colleagues and team members. A new 'Add people' option in the Jamboard application will give users automatic suggestions on people that they might want to invite based on their history and address book contacts in their email accounts. Users who are invited to offer feedback are notified automatically via email.

At least some of the updates are based on feedback from early users of the technology that have included several large beta testers. Among them, according to Google, are organizations such as Whirlpool, Pinterest, Dow Jones Netflix and Spotify.

The product is currently available only in the U.S and will be rolled out gradually to other markets over the next several months.

Google is among several vendors pitching interactive digital collaboration whiteboards to enterprises. Others include Seiko, Samsung, Hitachi and Seiko Epson.

Last November, Transparency Market Research (TMR) estimated the size of the interactive whiteboard market at around $1.15 billion. Much of the revenue so far has come from the education sector, though the technology has seen a little traction in enterprise settings as well in recent years.

Even so, revenue from sales of digital whiteboards is expected to decline gradually over the next few years thanks to the emergence of alternate technologies such as interactive flat panels, the TMR report noted.

Jaikumar Vijayan

Jaikumar Vijayan

Vijayan is an award-winning independent journalist and tech content creation specialist covering data security and privacy, business intelligence, big data and data analytics.