Google’s Jamboard is not a kitchen app for curating PB&J recipes – it’s a 55-inch digital whiteboard, with pen and touch input, companion iOS and Android apps, an Nvidia Jetson TX1 processor on board and 4K resolution. The behemoth is an enterprise-focused collaboration tool, that comes in three fun colors and has a stand that looks ripped from a Herman Miller catalog, and if you’re in the U.S. you can order one today for $4,999.
This seems like a weird place for Google to go, but the company is one of the leading enterprise software vendors when you consider how far and wide its G-Suite products reach. Jamboard also underwent testing with companies including Google clients Dow Jones, Whirlpool and Pinterest, so it’s obvious this is more than a weird side project that became something Google launched just because it sometimes does random shit.
No, it’s more like Google Jamboard is the Google Home of the office – a way to embed itself in the business world at a core level, where it’s more likely to become an integral, and nearly invisible part of doing work. Plus, it’s a services revenue business; Jamboard support and management runs $600 per year ($300 per year for early customers) and access to Drive files on Jamboard requires a G Suite plan.
Google’s identity as a hardware company gets more interesting all the time, and Jamboard is an eccentric, but smart extension of its overall strategy, which marries service and gear more closely than most in the enterprise space.