What just happened? Remember the Jamboard, Google's 55-inch 4K digital whiteboard that was essentially the company's take on the Microsoft Surface Hub? Unless your business or place of education uses one, you'd be forgiven if they'd slipped your mind. Now, Google has announced the $5,000 device and its $600-per-year fee is joining the tech giant's increasingly crowded graveyard of discontinued products and services.
Google announced the enterprise-focused Jamboard back in October 2016. The cloud-connected, Android-powered digital whiteboard was designed so teams could collaborate on projects even when people were in different locations. Not too surprisingly, the reveal came a few months after Microsoft's similar Surface Hub, which cost $8,999 for the 55-inch version and $21,999 for the 84-inch version, proved so popular that production had to be ramped up.
The Jamboard packed a quad-core Nvidia Jetson TX1 SoC, built-in HD camera, speakers, microphone, and Wi-Fi. Google boasted that it could recognize up to 16 simultaneous touch inputs, and its passive stylus (no batteries or Bluetooth connection required) may have looked chunky, but it could draw a line just 1mm thick. It also came with a round eraser, though it was possible to use a finger to remove content. Rounding off the specs were USB and HDMI ports, and you could even roll it around on the (expensive optional extra) mobile stand.
Probably the most important element of the Jamboard was its remote collaboration features. Teams from around the world could watch and contribute to "jam" sessions using their own Jamboards, and people could follow along and contribute using a smartphone app. It also offered tight Google Workspace integration.
In a Workspace post, Google writes that it will be winding down the Jamboard whiteboarding app in late 2024. Furthermore, the hardware will no longer receive software updates after September 30, 2024, the same day its license subscriptions expire.
Any companies or schools with an upcoming subscription renewal can remain subscribed until that date at a prorated amount. The Jamboard reaches its end of life on October 1, 2024. Google says it will work with educational institutions to compensate them for phasing out the $5,000 Jamboard devices.
"Over the coming months, we'll provide Jamboard app users and admins clear paths to retain their Jamboard data or migrate it," Google said, adding that it will help customers "transition" to third-party whiteboard apps like Figma, Lucid Software, and Miro. They will still need a new touchscreen such as the Google Meet Series One Board 65 ($13,999) or the Desk 27 ($2,000).
Google didn't just make $5,000 from the sale of every Jamboard; it also charged a $600 "annual management and support fee" and a Google Workspace subscription for every user. There was also the $1,350 wheel stand for those who needed it.