Archive for December, 2010

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.

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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.

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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.

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