back to article And for our next trick, says Google while literally wheeling out a humongous tablet ...

Google's latest tablet, the Jamboard, weighs 93 pounds (42 kilograms). It could inflict grievous bodily harm if it toppled onto you. But Google made sure to have the four-wheeled stand that supports the unwieldy screen certified by safety testing firm UL. "UL was worried about it tipping over in an earthquake," said Prabhakar …

  1. JimmyPage Silver badge

    Sorry to be dismissve

    but in 2016, it's just a jumped up Smart TV.

    1. JetSetJim Silver badge

      Re: Sorry to be dismissve

      We had some expensive windows jumbo tron installed in the office and I don't think it's ever been used except as a desktop extension with an hdmi cable. This looks like the same sort of thing

      1. AMBxx Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Sorry to be dismissve

        Yep, these things are too big for some things and too small for everything else.

        Best collaborative tools are wall sized blackboards or whiteboards.

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          Re: Sorry to be dismissve

          Absolutely. The downside on chalk is dust and the screech, the downside of white boards is the slightly odd look the writer gets after 45 minutes with those pends. We always intervene when we can see them surreptitiously sniffing their writing implement (almost wrote tool there :-)

    2. Bill B

      Re: Sorry to be dismissve

      Whiteboards are wonderful tools for brainstorming and collaboration ... as long as everyone is on the same site. Our problem is that we have distributed teams ranging from US to Europe. We occasionally travel to conferences but a 3 day visit to the States from Europe is around $2.5k per person. Doing that every month or even every quarter for a team of 12 soon adds up. So one of these whiteboards in the telepresence room would probably pay for itself relatively quickly.

      We tried to set up a collaborative conference with a pseudo whiteboard earlier this year. I reckon the cost of trying to cobble together a touchscreen TV, WebEx, video cameras etc came to about $1000 worth of man hours easily.

  2. Mage Silver badge

    not just about collaboration between two physical boards

    because we get a copy of everything on it too.

    I do have an Android phone and an Android Tablet. I don't do anything important or corporate. The phone is used as a feature phone with no data or wifi. The tablet rarely has Wifi on, I use it for a few trivial apps that don't need Internet and collaborative note taking using Jota app.

  3. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    is it 20 years since Xerox PARC proposed "ubiquitous computing"

    Actually nearer 30 (1988)

    Funny how IT ideas keep getting "reinvented" is it not?

    Let's see if this one's interface is any better than previous efforts.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: is it 20 years since Xerox PARC proposed "ubiquitous computing"

      The way it is going we will soon have automatic doors that do "woosh" sounds.

      1. Nelbert Noggins

        Re: is it 20 years since Xerox PARC proposed "ubiquitous computing"

        Will they do so with a slightly smug sounding "woosh"

        I'd be more worried when the lifts that only stay on the lowest floor arrive

  4. xeroks

    Portait layout?

    Typically flipboards in meeting rooms have a portrait orientation, which seems to work well.

    Any idea if this can spin onto its side?

  5. User McUser

    Seems a bit expensive...

    Let's see, about $1,000 for a decent 4k TV, about $1,000 for the rest of the hardware (computery-bits, touch interface, camera, etc.), and we'll go crazy here and allocate $1,000 for all the software that Google provides.

    I guess the other $3,000 is to make it reassuringly expensive?

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Seems a bit expensive...

      A bargain compared to the MS one though. But established Office Equip. makers have had whiteboards that you can write on (with real white board markers, fire video projector at and save results as file and print) for well over 10 years. Lots of colleges have them.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Seems a bit expensive...

      You forgot the server side of collaborative and conference software and the relevant local and remote processing. You definitely cannot do the processing needed for real time conferencing on a bog standard smart TV chipset. You are off (in terms of processing power requirements) by an order of magnitude if not more.

      The correct comparison is a high end HD conference suite (which does only a fraction of what this can do) which cost north of 20K and are installed into fixed conference rooms. Definitely not something you can just wheel into a room somewhere, power up and get stuff done.

      The problem is - most companies have no clue on how to leverage any of these so they end up as toys in the exec and marketing suites instead of being abused 24x7 by the engineering teams to ensure that there is no such thing as a TimeZone team split.

  6. Steve Foster

    "creative output"

    If it's anything like most meetings, the most useful place for that output is in the round store of infinite capacity (that some other commentard described recently).

    1. Bill B

      Re: "creative output"

      Steve; you're thinking about management or marketing meetings. Development meetings are normally more productive

  7. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Let me "Google" that diagram

    I suppose Google is making this because they get to watch the screen while you're using it. Google's business is personalized and interactive advertisements - nothing more. Everything Google does ties back to supporting that in some way. Even the self-driving car is physical manifestation of their search engine with paid ranking.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Let me "Google" that diagram

      >Google's business is personalized and interactive advertisements - nothing more.

      Er, no. If you are a business, you can pay Google for email and office suite* - no ads. So your statement is demonstrably incorrect.

      Given this article made explicit mention of a $250 / year subscription fee for this device, it would appear that the grasp of your opinion is greater than the reach of your knowledge:

      *Unlike Google's consumer offerings, which may show ads, we do not collect, scan or use your G Suite data for advertising purposes and do not display ads in G Suite, Education or Government core services -

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: Let me "Google" that diagram

        Hmm, notorious data slurping company posts disclaimer saying they won't spy on us and we're just supposed to believe them?

        You can if you like, I'm not minded to give them the benefit of the doubt....

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Let me "Google" that diagram

        "we do not collect, scan or use your G Suite data for advertising purposes and do not display ads in G Suite."

        So they do scan it for other stuff then?

        Never believe ANY company when it states it doesn't do X, but omits Y

        Like all those wonderful fat free products, conveniently omitting they are rammed full of sugar.

        1. Indolent Wretch

          Re: Let me "Google" that diagram

          Well it's a bit hard to say they don't scan it for any purpose. There is a search button after all.

          BTW all those conveniently fat free products all state clearly exactly how much sugar they have in them. In my country in more than 1 place.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. steelpillow Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    It's route-plannin' time!

    About time too. Best use ever is pulling up Google Maps and deciding where we are all going to get ****ed.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: where we are all going to get ****ed.

      What are we going to get? Fucked? Pissed? Twatted? Fired?

      And how are we going to fit that thing in the front of the car while we get there?

  9. FozzyBear Silver badge

    Sorry I'm old school

    You can keep the fancy tech, buzz words and other crap. If there is that rare meeting in which something meaningful is being discussed a white board or even a few sheets of butchers paper is all that's needed

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sorry I'm old school

      Is that the extremely rare meeting where you are allowed to say "I'm sorry, but your talking bollocks?"

      Although, if you have given up on promotion, have fun in meetings...just query a buzzword, it's great fun.

      "We need to put this into the cloud!"

      "The Cloud?"

      "yes you know, the Cloud!"

      "Oh a hosted solution, bit like Hotmail?"

      "No the cloud, not like Hotmail, like Salesforce"

      "Oh an online service, where all the data is hosted by someone else?"

      "Yes, exactly"

      "Like Hotmail then?"

      And so on...

  10. tekHedd

    18 months later...

    "Sorry <This Google Product, API, or Initiative> is officially deprecated and will stop working after <either two weeks before you discover it or three months after you base your entire product strategy on it>. See our deprecation policy in our Terms of Service for details."

  11. cosymart


    All the folks at that meeting look either totally confused or bored, must have been a real meeting.

    They have totally missed the point, the output from this type of meeting isn't the crappy list and weird diagram it is the product of the discussion written up by the mug who was volunteered to take notes. Also, who can ever remember what the diagram means 5 seconds after walking out of the room?

  12. therebel

    Handy it's got NFC as can drag it to Starbucks and use it to pay for a coffee

    1. find users who cut cat tail

      > Handy it's got NFC as can drag it to Starbucks and use it to pay for a coffee

      If you haggle you might even get a couple of coffees for it.

  13. DougS Silver badge

    Why so damn heavy?

    Some 55" TVs weigh barely a third of that. Does it have some gigantic battery in it so it can be used without plugging it in? If it does, that's really stupid!

    1. Indolent Wretch

      Re: Why so damn heavy?

      Given that it's wheelable and given my experience of free power sockets in conference rooms it sounds a good idea if true.

  14. SomeoneInDelaware

    Ted Nelson's Xanadu, anyone?

    Reminds me of Ted Nelson's book Computer Lib/Dream Machines, circa 1974.

  15. Eric Olson

    Cue the grumps

    Of course, there is truth even in the grumping. My guess is that Google, Microsoft, et al., spend a lot of time in environments that your typical developer could only dream of, if only because many work for banks, insurance companies, and other less hip and more bureaucratic sectors. Even in software firms outside of Silicon Valley (and probably inside, too), the general stickiness of management overhead, whiz-bang initiatives that went nowhere, and cynicism and/or aloofness towards the fresh blood that comes in pervades and beats down the most optimistic of folks.

    This board isn't for you.

    It was designed for those small firms that have some kind of charismatic founder that hasn't been ground to dust by repeated rounds of VC funding, bludgeoned to death by a rebellious board filled with CEOs and CFOs from more conservative industries, or taken to the cleaners by an ex or three, plus the piece(s) on the side that wanted something to stay quiet. It was designed for the kind of firms in Silicon Valley that MS or Google are likely to visit with their new ideas to prove they are still "hip" and "with it" in the technology space. And it might work in some agencies like marketing, advertising, etc. where you're more likely to find "quirky" leaders who drink a lot, fraternize in disturbing ways, and otherwise serve as reinforcement that they are able to help MS and Google stay relevant.

    Perhaps I'm a cynic too, perhaps even though I'm in one of those "fun" firms I find it a little hard to sand off the edges that were honed through years in finance and health care. But I can see some benefits to the board in my current job, if only because I find drawing pictures and diagrams on the fly works a lot better than text-heavy descriptions, and collaborating helps in a space where a bunch of people know a little bit because we're all a new-ish hires and haven't had to venture too far beyond the specific project or team we were hired for.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Cue the grumps

      This is all very true but where do I get the "successfull, cool, out there, distrumptive startup idea" DLC that goes with it?

  16. JeffyPoooh Silver badge

    ""We really don't want people to take photos of whiteboards anymore."

    Why not?

    $3 for white board pens, leaves $5,997 for other things.

    Probably better, faster (as well as cheaper) to just take a picture.

    PS. Our white board isn't 55 inches. More like 15 feet.

  17. Ian Emery Silver badge

    On a more practical note

    What games does it come with??

  18. Steve Button

    Well I would like one.

    As long as I'm not paying for it.

    It looks pretty cool. Why all the negative vibes? This could actually be useful. If you are already in a company that eats from the google trough, that is.

  19. Spacedinvader

    "with its white bezel and red trim"

    It's a strange looking white that bezel...

  20. shrdlu

    Late to the party

    What is the difference between this and the smartboards that have been available off the shelf (and in larger sizes) for years?

  21. TeeCee Gold badge

    "....worried about it tipping over in an earthquake,"

    Which is just typical of the 'elf 'n savdee fetishists. Sounds sensible until you realise that, if you were in a major earthquake, your telly falling over isn't going to even make your list of things to be concerned about.

    1. graeme leggett

      I'm sure with the right earthquake it'll tip over all right.

      The certification will be that it won't tip over in your usual Californian earthquake.

      [Still waiting on Bill Hick's idea of an Arizona Bay]

    2. Teiwaz Silver badge

      "....worried about it tipping over in an earthquake,"

      What about a minor earthquake? All it takes is a shoddy stand for a piece of kit worth $x000 and you have to wait for insurance to pay out for a new one.

      I can understand why so many are cynical, I've seen too many iterations of this type of tech be bought and installed in meeting rooms to much hand clapping and how it was going to change things only to never to be used or some idiot ruining ( using the wrong whiteboard pen on it).

      Maybe this is the true game changer or maybe not. There'll always be another bright spark idea touted in a year or so that'll catch some execs imagination in how it'll make their meeting room slaves more productive (maybe an overseer with a stout whip idea will by re-invented).

    3. Tom Paine Silver badge

      You've never actually been in an earthquake, have you? Or been hit by a falling TV or monitor...

      Actually, by far the greatest source of injuries and deaths in earthquakes are toppling furniture, falling fixtures and fittings and the like.

      See. for instance, .

  22. Fihart

    Just asking...

    Does it have a camera for selfies ?

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Just asking...

      "Does it have a camera for selfies ?"

      - Wouldn't that be 'groupies' (not to be confused with 'willing' rock band followers). Probably has special functionality in which a hard edged middle age woman appears on-screen and berates the meeting room as a whole if they are not trying hard enough and makes them touch their toes to her satisfaction.

  23. AndrewDu

    Why would anyone want an expensive VC-type device? In the real world we're all getting rid of these things and saving a fortune thereby. If we need a video conference we just fire up Skype or Swyx or MiCollab or any one of dozens of others, straight off the desktop. Simples.

    1. Tom Paine Silver badge

      Some of us work in organisations where "just firing up Skype or (some other random internet VC service) would get you a quick trip to HR followed by an accompanied walk to the pavement.

      1. Pedigree-Pete
        Thumb Up

        Re: just firing up Skype etc

        Well said Tom. CEOs and CTOs and lots of other organisational types get a bit uncomfortable when 6-8 of them have to crowd around a 15" laptop to take part in a VC.

        Not so Anonymous VC engineer.

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      "Why would anyone want an expensive VC-type device?"

      I love techno toys.

      1. Pedigree-Pete

        Re I love techno toys.

        You can have an upvote too.

        No I don't sell Googly stuff.

  24. Ru'
    Paris Hilton

    I want to be an early adopter, just to be the first to draw a cock and balls on it. But no doubt the googly engineers have been doing that all through the development phase already...

  25. ZippedyDooDah

    What about the Skypad

    Sky Sports use a monster 70" tablet running Windows. It's a bespoke machine but does only have 1080P graphics.

  26. Identity
    Black Helicopters

    Seems like...

    a perfect opportunity for industrial espionage. Thanks, IoT!

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019