Today in news from TechCrunch, Google announced that their popular Hangout video conferencing system is going HD. Dave Besbris, Vice President of Engineering, also announced more mobile options, an event planning tool to aid you in your holiday fun, and a low-bandwidth access option to stream your video.
We have four remote staff, and since we’re powered by Google for our email and drive, we use the Hangout feature fairly frequently. Sometimes it’s great, sometimes…well, the experience feels very discouraging and reminds us to schedule an additional 10-15 minutes to the meeting time in order to get the Hangout up and running.
Like so much of the rest of Google’s product roadmap, I wish they would do a little bit more pre and post user testing and post-deployment evaluation to ensure that a quality experience happens each time you use it rather than moving right along to the next thing on their project milestone list. Our systems manager, Brendan, is excited though. He hopes that the HD option will raise the demand of the overall Google Hangout system that it will encourage the engineers to look at all the issues and make the appropriate updates and fixes.
What are you thoughts? Also, I’m curious if you’ll use the event planning tool? Leave a comment. Let me know your thoughts around these new updates and whether or not you’ll use them at your organization or if you have high/low hopes for their deployment.