Businesses that have been waiting to upgrade their conference rooms with Microsoft's Surface Hub won't have to wait much longer. Today, the software giant announced that its giant touch screen PC, available in 55 or 84-inch sizes, will ship in September with pre-orders starting in July in 24 counrties.
Microsoft says that the 55-inch version for "huddle spaces, small conference rooms and offices," will sell for $7,000, and the 84-inch version for "larger meeting rooms" will cost $20,000. That may be a large percentage of your team's budget, but the Hub promises a truly unique collaboration experience. The HDTV sized Windows 10 PC detects 100 points of touch and recognizes up to three simultaneous pen inputs (a necessary feature for group brainstorming). Sensors allow the Hub to wake when people walk in front of it, and for the OneNote app to launch when users pick up a stylus. The Hub also features dual 1080p cameras and a microphone array built to detect and follow voice in order to silence background noise.
If the Surface Hub sounds like the collaboration solution your team has always wanted, you will need to be in one of the following markets: United States, Canada, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Qatar, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.
The Surface Hub also works well with Skype for Business, one of the most prominently demoed apps at Microsoft's January event. In the middle of a Skype call, Company Exec Hayete Gallot brought multiple presentations onto the Hub from a tablet, and drew on the slides with her stylus. All of the participants on the Skype call were able to see those hand-drawn notes, and after the Surface Hub meeting ended, those participants received electronic copies. The Surface Hub is able to interact with outside devices thanks to built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC and a variety of ports.