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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.
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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.

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

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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!

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.

Practice Makes Perfect

Practice Makes PerfectWhen you are having a meeting, chances are you will be making a presentation.  It may be long or short; it may be in front of a crowd of 10 or 100 people.   Regardless of the details, you want to make your best impression and give the best presentation you can give.  When you hold your meeting, you’ll learn that a little time and effort go a long way.  Practicing your presentation ahead of time will help you appear more confident, professional, and you’ll be able to grab your audience’s attention in ways you never thought possible.   You’ve always heard the saying “practice makes perfect;” well, in the case of presentations it’s absolutely true.  So what are some good ways to practice?   Take a look at the tips below and use as many as you can before your next big meeting. 

1.  Record Yourself.  If you can hear or watch yourself make your presentation, it makes you more aware of what you’re doing wrong and what you’re doing right.   If you have a tape recorder or some kind of audio recorder, go ahead and hit record when you make your speech.  Play it back and listen to yourself.  Are you speaking clearly?  Do you have any annoying habits such as saying “um” and “uh” between sentences?   Are there any words you have problems with? 

This works for videotaping yourself as well.  Set up your video camera or if you don’t already have one, consider renting a video camera.  Record your entire presentation and play it back to see where you can make improvements.  Are your gestures distracting?   Do you make eye contact with the camera/your audience members?  Do you look nervous?  

2.  Have someone else watch.  Whether it’s your friends, family, or a few close co-workers, have people whose opinions you trust watch you give your presentation and ask them to give honest criticism.  Ask them to tell you what they liked and didn’t like, what you need to change and what you can improve.  

3.  Use a mirror.  In a quick pinch using a mirror can be as rewarding as a video camera.  You have the same ability to watch yourself perform and you can watch to see what you’re doing wrong.  If you are making distracting gestures, you can stop and do it over again until you find a place where you’re comfortable. 

4.  Get familiar with props and technology.   If you plan to use any kind of visual aids, props, or technology with your presentation, you’ll want to make sure you do at least one run-through with them at your side.  Make sure you’re comfortable moving things around if you have props or paper visual aids.  If you plan to use a projector rental or any other technology you’re not familiar with, make sure you have the rental firm set it up ahead of time and make sure you get there early to learn how to use it well enough, so that you’re not having to stop your presentation to figure out how to change slides or power on and off.

Staying on Budget When Planning Your Meeting

Staying on Budget When Planning Your Meeting When you’re in charge of planning a meeting, staying within your budget is probably one of your biggest worries, but it shouldn’t have to be.  With a little extra effort, staying within budget can be the easiest part of meeting planning.   Here are a few tips  to help you out with the financial aspect, so that you can spend more time and effort on the important parts of your meeting.

1.  Make sure you know your budget.  If you know your exact limits verses a guess or estimate, you are more likely to stick to it. 

2.  Stay organized.  This one seems simple, but before you even begin the planning process, make a list of items you’ll need to pay for.  These might include transportation, entertainment, refreshments, technology rentals, accommodations if your meeting will involve out-of-town guests, renting a location if it won’t be at your office, and more.  Figure out how much of your budget you can afford to assign to each aspect and try to leave a little extra room in case something comes up.  

3.  Be flexible.  If you have specific expectations about dates and locations, you may find yourself having to shell out a little extra money to pay for those expectations.  Some places, such as hotels, might give discounts if you’re not 100% set on a date. 

4.  Have a back-up plan.  Something can always go wrong when you’re planning a big meeting.  Consider the possibilities and decide what you can do in the event of an emergency.  Not having a back-up plan could result in spending tons of extra, unnecessary cash. 

5.  Rent any necessary technology.  In today’s world, technology is king, and any successful meeting requires at the bare minimum a projector.  Renting a projector is a great alternative to purchasing one when you’re trying to stay within a budget.  You’ll pay a small fraction of what you would when you purchase a new projector and you can rent it for as long as you need.  Many meeting planners also rent laptops so that each meeting attendee can use one to access websites, take notes, and perform other tasks related to the meeting.

Start Your Meetings on Time

Start Your Meetings on TimeNo one likes a meeting that doesn’t start on time.  Most of the time, a meeting that starts late means a meeting that finishes late and it can eat up important productivity time and even affect when you and your employees are able to go home.   There are so many ways to prevent your meeting from starting later than scheduled.  After following these tips, you won’t have any excuse to ever start a meeting at the wrong time again!

1.  Make sure everyone involved with the meeting knows when it starts.  Also, make sure everyone knows you mean business.  State that your meeting will begin promptly at that time and that no excuses for tardiness will be accepted.

2.  If possible, remind everyone the morning of or shortly before the meeting.  Send out a group email or put a flier in your employees’ mailboxes.  Make an announcement if you have a PA system. 

3.  Even if your meeting starts late, wrap it up at the scheduled time.  This will also show your employees you are trying to stick to a schedule and may help them be on time when you have your next meeting.

4.  Close the doors to your meeting room and post a sign that says something along the lines of  “Do not enter. Meeting in progress.”   This will send a clear message to attendees that you will not tolerate lateness. 

5.  If you are planning to use temporary equipment such as laptop rentals or a projector rental for your meeting, make sure it’s set-up and powered on, ready to be used.  Familiarize yourself with the technology so that you do not have to spend the first fifteen minutes of the meeting learning how to show your slides. 

6.  Finally, be prepared.  Have your notes together and rehearsed, and be ready and waiting in the meeting room before your participants arrive.