New SMART Interactive Whiteboard and Interactive Display

SMART 885ix Interactive Whiteboard System and SMART Board 8070i Interactive DisplaySMART Technologies recently announced two new interactive products designed to allow businesses the ability to enhance interactivity and collaboration. Both the SMART Board 885ix interactive whiteboard and system and the SMART Board 8070i interactive display support common multitouch responses that are recognized in the Microsoft WIndows 7 operating system. This enables multiple users to create and interact with digital content simultaneously.

Both the  whiteboard system and the interactive display, using SMART’s patented Digital Vision Touch technology, deliver a fantastic touch experience which supports multitouch, multiuser writing and object awareness. Object awareness enables users to interact with digital content by utilizing their fingers, fists, pens or erasers interchangeably. It also allows users the ability to work simultaneously on the interactive whiteboard system or interactive display.

The SMART Board 885ix interactive whiteboard is fully integrated and very easy to use. It includes an 87″ widescreen interactive whiteboard with a 16:10 aspect ratio, ultra short-throw projector and extended control panel. The SMART Board 8070i interactive display gives users a high definition 70″ display that has a 16:9 aspect ratio as well as a sleek, contemporary design to complement a high tech business environment.

Both of these devices are shipped with SMART Meeting Pro software. This software is specifically designed to facilitate meeting management as well as effective and efficient multitouch collaboration. By using both SMART Meeting Pro technology and SMART Bridgit conferencing software, meeting participants can connect from anywhere in the world automatically, allowing them to share and interact with digital documents and minimize travel needs and expenses.

According to Amin Ladha, Systems Analyst Corporate IT Operations at Enbridge Incorporated in Calgary, Canada, “The SMART Board 8070i interactive display is a beautiful, powerful, yet simple solution for meeting spaces at our corporate headquarters. The integrated design, intuitive SMART Meeting Pro software, object recognition and multiuser support really compliments the way our staff wants to interact and collaborate.”

Nancy Knowlton, CEO of SMART Technologies, had this to say about these two products, “As organizations around the world continue to adopt interactive technology products to support their business activities, they require easy-to-use, intuitive tools that promote collaboration and make the most of meeting time. Both the SMART Board 885ix interactive whiteboard system and the SMART Board 8070i interactive display are designed specifically for business users – whether they meet in the same room or remotely from around the world – enabling better collaboration for better results.”

These two devices definitely aim to make meeting collaboration and creativity much easier and smoother, and if they can nail the hardware and software aspects of it, then they shouldn’t have any problems at all. Look for both the SMART Board 885ix interactive whiteboard system and the SMART Board 8070i interactive display when they go on sale globally by the end of January 2011.

Get an Industrial Audio Rental from Rentacomputer.com today by going online or calling 800-736-8772.

Apple Wins Patent For A Glasses-less 3D Projector

It seems that Apple is applying its philosophy of ‘sleek, cool, and simple’ to one of its longstanding ventures, which it just won the patent for: a projector that projects a 3D image, which the viewers can enjoy unencumbered by ridiculous eye-wear.

Moreover, Apple is saying that their goal with the project is to develop an autostereoscopic 3D projection system that does not even place constraints upon what angle the viewer must be viewing from. This is quite a venture, and regardless of whether or not Apple delivers on this proposed goal, their idea seems unique when compared to other more popular approaches to the problem that are being explored by other AV technology companies; and also promises more than the prototypes designed thus far.

Apple’s idea hinges upon two driving features: a special type of reflective screen with a ripple texture and a sub-device that detects and tracks a viewer’s eye position within a given space. The basic concept is that once the system is aware of where a viewer’s eyes are in the room, it can then throw a single-pixel projection of a stereoscopic image onto a particular area of a particular ripple on the screen; the position and angle of which are being determined by the viewer’s  eye position at any given instant. The reflective screen is angularly responsive, its angles of reflection being predetermined by the viewer’s eye position. As far as the stereoscopic image itself is concerned, it is divided into two sub-images, one designated for left eye and one for the right eye, where they work together in concert to create a 3D experience when the reflected projections meet each eye.

All technical specs aside, this is a novel approach, and if it proves feasible, could circumvent the problems that are bound to plague glasses-less 3D technology that is soon to hit the market. Despite soon to come technology and patents however, a truly unencumbered and free 3D visual experience is the stuff of science fiction, at least until Apple or another company makes patents like these a reality.

A Tech Travel Agent from Rentacomputer.com, the Worldwide Technology Rental Company will schedule installation of projectors, computers, and office equipment on a permanent or temporary basis in over 1000 cities worldwide. Call 800-736-8772

We have 3987 Installers, Technicians and Engineers stationed worldwide to serve you.

Choosing the Right Projector for Your Meetings

When it comes to technology, many people like to think they are well-versed. However, ask anybody about projector technology and all that knowledge they thought they had goes right out the window. Projectors are a rare field of study for most tech enthusiasts and with all the different sizes, styles, brands and qualities out there, picking the right one can be difficult. But what if your boss gives you the task of finding the perfect projector for your company’s newest meeting and conference room? Do you think you would be able to pick the right one?

Picking the right projector for your company’s meeting room is never easy, and if you get one that lacks substance, quality and performance, you may find yourself in the doghouse with the boss. If you are planning on acquiring a projector for your company’s meeting room, then you have to take a few things into consideration first. Knowing the ins and outs of projectors and how they work is key.

Brightness
When dealing with brightness, you have to consider a few things. You need to know how big of a picture you need to produce in order for everybody to see it clearly and whether you are going to use it with the lights on or off. This will help you determine the brightness level required of your projector. Brightness is measured in ANSI lumens with the average everyday projector running anywhere from 500 to 2100 lumens. If you are running the projector in a well-lit room, then you obviously need more lumens.

For a quick reference 500-1000 lumens is good for a 5′ to 6′ screen in a small room with no lighting. 1000-1500 lumens is good for a 8′ to 10′ screen size in a medium-sized room with dim lighting. 1500-2000 lumens is good for screen sizes between 12′ and 25′ in a large meeting room and more than 2000 lumens works well with 12′ to 25′ screens in large rooms with dim lighting or smaller rooms with bright lighting.

Resolution
If you want the clearest picture possible, then you have to go for a projector with good clarity. The key to clarity is finding a projector with a high resolution. Your projector’s resolution is directly linked with the resolution of the computer you have the projector connected to. Your projector resolution must be equal to the resolution of the monitor you are using. Your average desktop has a resolution of about 800 x 600 pixels with your average laptop coming in at 1024 x768 or even 1280 x 1024. Another thing to consider is whether or not you want your projector to accommodate guest laptops. If so, then you will need to find a projector that has XGA resolution as opposed to SVGA resolution.

Brands and Pricing
Thankfully for you, the price of multimedia projectors has been on a steady decline for the past couple of years. The price of a multimedia projector in today’s market can be as low as $2000 or as high as over $11,000. Brand names like Toshiba, InFocus, Sharp, NEC, Sony and Panasonic will cost you more .

Ceiling Mount
Another thing you need to consider is where you will be placing this projector.  In meeting rooms projectors are most often mounted on the ceiling. If this is the style you are looking for, then you need to be sure and pick up a certain type of projector. If you are going to ceiling mount it, then you need a projector that is first of all able to be mounted on a ceiling, and secondly, you need to make sure that it has an inverted lens so your picture doesn’t end up displaying upside down.

Demonstrations
Before you commit to a projector, be sure to ask the sales clerk if you can see a demonstration of the product. If you want to, you could even ask for a side-by-side demonstration of multiple projectors that you may be interested in. Seeing a variety of different projectors displayed in front of you is the best way to tell if you are getting what you want and need.

So there you have it, a simple list of a few things to consider before acquiring a new projector for your company’s meeting and conference room. If you follow these simple suggestions, then I guarantee you will find your boss’s approval awaiting you at your next meeting.

Make your next corporate business meeting really shine with a Projector Rental from Rentacomputer.com. They offer a wide range of projectors including Hitachi Projector Rentals. Rentacomputer.com has been in the projector rental industry for over 20 years and delivers to more than 1000 cities worldwide.

To Meet Or Not To Meet

Meetings can be high stress for the person giving the meeting and the attendees. There is often pressure to pay attention, speak out, and retain all of the information given in the meeting for the people attending. For the person running the meeting it can be even more stressful. Meeting leaders need to have control over the room while speaking clearly and broadcasting to their audience everything that they need to know. While being stressful, at the same time meetings are important for businesses to communicate with their employees and offer a place for everyone’s opinions to be put into play. It is important to be able to differentiate when a meeting is necessary and when it is not.

First, it is important to think about whether a meeting is necessary or whether the information that is to be given only needs to go one way. If a company is instructing its employees on a new rule or policy and there is no need for discussion, a company-wide memo will suffice. A memo can let everyone know what they need to know without interrupting their work day. On the other hand if the company is looking for ideas or opinions, a meeting is definitely called for. Open discussions are a great way to get fresh ideas and a good way to get different views on things.

Another good tip is to schedule regular meetings where things can be discussed openly. Weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly are good choices for a general meeting time depending on the business. General meeting times give everyone a chance to let their peers know of problems or ideas on a schedule at an expected time. Having  a set meeting time also gives everyone a clear date to prepare anything they’d like to discuss with their coworkers.

Meetings that are called outside of the scheduled general meetings should have a clear and concise subject and goal for the meeting. A presentation that must be given using a projector is one reason a  meeting must be held. Renting a projector for meetings is a great way to make ideas visual and presentations more entertaining. When giving such a presentation, make sure everyone is up to date on the subject matter and that no one is left behind. Keep the floor constantly open for comments or questions.

If the subject that needs to be discussed is something negative or personal to one or more employees, it is better to talk to that person or persons privately. Airing dirty laundry at public meetings is a faux pas that should be avoided. This is another case where it is better to send a memo or email to the employees in question or hold a private meeting with them without letting others know.

Time is valuable for all businesses and it is important to make meetings worth the time that they take. Bits of one-way information can be sent in memos while things that need to be discussed openly should be brought up in meetings. Presentations should be understood by all meeting attendees and the floor should always be left open for questions. Lastly, negative things that pertain to one or just a few employees should never be brought up in meetings but should be handled privately. With these tips it should be easier to decide if a meeting is needed.

Do you need to rent Anchor Audio Equipment? Rentacomputer.com has a full range of Anchor Audio Equipment to rent. Call us at 800-736-8772 to reserve yours today!

6 Tips to Extend the Life of your Projector


Extend Your Life: Don’t Operate in a Smoky Environment 

Projectors can be expensive to purchase if you don’t follow these 6 tips for extending your projector life. If you only need a projector once or twice per year, then renting a projector is a better idea.

Here are 6 things you can do to extend the life of your projector

1. Read the instruction manual.
This is the most basic way to extend the life of your projector. Read the manual that was included with your projector. The manual will provide tips on how to properly operate the device and store the projector. It will also provide precautions to avoid damage to yor projector.

2. Let the Projector to cool before packing away
If you want to extend the lamp life of your projector, you need to let your unit cool completely before turning it off or unplugging it. Excessive heat is a huge contributor to the shortening of a projector’s lamp life. Due to this fact, it is also important to remember not to utilize your projector in direct sunlight or near a heat source.

3. Change the filter.
Didn’t know your projector comes with a filter? It might have one and if it does, the specifics about changing your projector’s filter can be found in the user’s manual. If you don’t change the filter, you shorten your life.

4. Make sure the filter is properly installed
Do not operate your projector without a filter. If you do this, dust can be drawn into the optics of the projector, which will then cause the dust particles to show up on your projected image.

5. Don’t Smoke
Don’t operate your projector in a smoky environment. The smoke can cause damage to the optics of your device, and smoke damage is not covered under most projector’s warranties. Smoke shortens the life of your projector.

6. Store Your Projector Properly
It is important to store your projector in a cool, dry space to extend the life of the projector. Also concern should be take to store in a place where the projector will not be easy bumped.

If this story sparks your interest then you may also like Tips to Caring for Your Projector on The Projector Blog.

Do you need an Electro Voice Speaker System Rental? If so then call Rentacomputer.com today at 800-736-8772.

iGo Pocket Projector

Projectors are becoming a staple of meetings. What better way is there to get a point across than with a beautiful presentation right there in the meeting room? While projectors provide an invaluable asset to meetings, they are notoriously hard to travel with. With tons of wires and the huge screen it is almost not worth the trouble to do a projector presentation on the go and using equipment provided by others can be complicated and unreliable. There are portable projectors to solve this problem, and now there is the new iGo Pocket Projector, which brings portable to a whole level.

Coming in October 2010, the iGo Pocket Projector is designed to go with the popular Flip Video cameras. Flip cameras are all about ease of use, and this accessory is no different. When iGo says portable, they mean it. The Pocket Projector literally can fit into a pocket. It is tiny enough to not even be noticed while traveling, even smaller than some cell phones.

The Pocket Projector will project 70 inches, the size of a big screen tv. It provides 16:9 widescreen resolution and is battery powered. While originally designed for quick picture and video sharing using Flip Cameras, the iGo Pocket projector is also packaged with mini-HDMI and micro-HDMI cables, making it compatible with desktops and laptops. Using the HDMI cables it is also possible to connect with netbooks, smartphones, and some gaming systems, making the Pocket Projector able to be used in almost any situation.

To make a projector so small iGo is using a pico projector for the Pocket Projector. Pico projectors first became popular in 2008 and have been used in mobile phones and gaming systems recently. Upcoming digital cameras also incorporate pico projectors.

The iGo Pocket Projector is set to hit markets next month. One downside to this exciting release is the hefty price tag of $349.99, but hopefully once it is released, it can be confirmed that the perks of having such a tiny projector that can go almost anywhere will outweigh the large price.  There is also the fact that most portable projectors cost over $500 dollars, and if the Pocket Projector can keep up with the lead contenders then the price doesn’t seem so bad at all.

Below are some features and specifications for the iGo Pocket Projector taken from the Flip Camera site

Features

  • Compatible with all UltraHD, MinoHD and SlideHD video cameras. Not compatible with Ultra or Mino video cameras.
  • Portable mini projector, fits in your pocket
  • Battery powered (battery life 1.5 hrs)
  • DLP (Digital Light Processing) technology
  • Designed for Flip and also connects to portable devices such as laptops, smartphones
  • 5″ – 70″ viewable screen size (diagonal)
  • LED light source (20.000 hrs)
  • Supports MicroSD memory cards up to 32GB for easy storing or transferring of media
  • Built-in 0.5W speaker
  • Changeable projection (front, rear, front inverted, rear inverted)
  • Built in media player

Specs

  • Size: 4.6in x 2.4in x 0.7in
  • Weight: 5.6oz
  • Display type: DLP
  • Max resolution: 1200 x 800
  • Aspect ratio: 4:3 and 16:9
  • Brightness: 20 ANSI lumens
  • Input: A/V, composite video, stereo audio, Mini HDMI, VGA, Micro USB

If you liked this story then you may be interested in a Smartphone-sized Projector from Acer. You can check it out on The Projector Blog.

Get an Industrial Audio Rental from Rentacomputer.com today by going online or calling at 800-736-8772.

Build Your Own Projection Screen

Projectors are expensive, but what can really gall someone is buying that super-expensive projector and having to spend a ton of money on the screen as well. While nothing can replace a high-tech projector, with a few supplies a projection screen can be built for under $100 and function just as well as a store bought screen and look just as good too. Here is a supply list as well as the places that will have to be visited to buy said supplies.

Supplies:

Super-white seamless paper 53″

Wood for frame

L bracket and screws

Velveteen fabric in black

Elmers Glue

To obtain the super-white seamless paper the best place to visit is a camera store. This paper is used as a backdrop for photographers and happens to be the perfect size for projection screens. The wood frame, L bracket, screws, and Elmers Glue can be found at any local hardware store, and the velveteen fabric can be found at a  craft or fabric store.

The wood frame needs to be made of 1×4 poplar wood. Poplar wood is strong, lightweight, and smooth enough not to catch on the fabric. The 1×4 wood will give your screen a border that is 3.5″  around. Have the hardware store employees cut two of the boards to a length of 55.25″ and the other two to 93.5″.  Once this is done, see if it is possible to have the ends cut to a 45 degree angle, and if they are unable to do it at the store, take it home and cut it yourself with a handsaw.  While at the hardware store, pick up four flat L brackets that are six inches long on both sides and  twenty four 3/4 Philips wood screws. After the hardware store, the last stop is the fabric store. Pick up three feet of black velveteen fabric to wrap your wood frame in.

Step one

Cut the boards to the correct lengths and angles if not done at the hardware store. 55.25″ for two of the boards and 93.5″ for the other two, ends at a 45 degree angle.

Step two

Cut the fabric into four 6.5″ wide strips, with two  58″ in length for the sides and two strips for the bottom and top edges  being about 96″ in length. Lay the fabric on a flat surface with the board on top and wrap the fabric around the board stapling it into place as you go. If the fabric slides, use a little glue to hold it into place until the fabric is fixed to the wood all the way around. Carefully cut the fabric to match the 45 degree angles and glue in place if necessary.

Step three

Arrange the fabric-covered pieces of board in a rectangle, placing an L bracket at each corner. Holding the two boards firmly in place, screw six of the screws into the L brackets. Repeat for each corner.

Step four

Lay the super-white paper over the frame and keep it taut. Starting at one of the 55″ sides staple the paper into place, one staple every 9″ is sufficient. Once the paper is secured, trim it up around the edges so it doesn’t hang over the frame.

There you have it! The finished frame should look professional enough to be mounted on the wall for meetings or even at home for a home theater. The total cost of the supplies should be under $100 and it should look like it came side by side with your new projector.