Other news from InfoComm 2010 exhibitors included new developments in digital signage, interactive whiteboards and displays, and video capture and editing tools—including a video “control room in a briefcase.” Here are some of the highlights.
Digital signage solutions
Black Box Network Services demonstrated its line of iCOMPEL digital signage players for schools that want to alert or inform faculty, staff, and students in the hallways or on campus. Black Box’s signage comes with a ticker loop that can announce cancellations, sports scores, and schedule changes, among other announcements. And schools won’t be short on technical help: The company offers free, unlimited tech support, and it guarantees that calls will be answered in 30 seconds or less. An entry-level option, iCOMPEL UltraLite, is ideal for schools looking for single-screen applications or multiple screens displaying the same content, starting at $1,245. Black Box signage also comes with a 45-day unconditional return policy.
RidgeLogic Development’s SceneStudio is a standalone digital signage messaging system with a range of applications. The system allows students, faculty, and IT staff to create digital signage content on a media player or from any computer on the college’s local network, providing greater flexibility for digital signage messaging. SceneStudio also allows users to split the screen into defined regions, which can overlay one another for creative design.
Interactive whiteboards and displays
SMART Technologies’ 685ix interactive whiteboard system was designed to eliminate shadows, glare, and projector light that can prove distracting to students. Teachers will have 20 percent more workspace with the 685ix model, and they can write with the whiteboard’s pen and erase the writing with a swipe of their hand, according to SMART. The whiteboard has a lifespan of 2,500 hours in standard mode and 4,000 hours in economy mode.
Wacom introduced two new interactive pen displays, the DTU-2231 and DTU-1631, with direct pen-on-screen input. The DTU-2231 features a 21.5-inch screen widescreen HD display with 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, while the DTU-1631 features a 15.6-inch LCD screen with 1,366 x 768 resolution. Each model includes an internal USB hub for connecting a flash drive, web camera, or other USB device. A video pass-through feature allows the work done on the pen display to be shared directly with a secondary display.
Video capture and editing
Broadcast Pix demonstrated its Slate and Granite series of control panels and switchers for producing live video. The units allow schools to create compelling live video productions of sporting events, assemblies, news programs, and other events, without assembling an expensive control room and hiring a big team to run it, the company says.
At InfoComm, Broadcast Pix introduced a streaming bundle that couples a Slate or Granite video production unit with streaming video equipment from ViewCast, allowing users to stream their video feeds live over the internet or a school’s internal network.
The company also highlighted its Slate Portable unit, which it describes as a “control room in a briefcase.” Slate Portable packs all the features and functionality of the regular Slate unit into a 45-pound box on wheels. The lid opens to reveal a keyboard on the back side, but you also have the option to edit video on a touch screen—controlling camera feeds, creating transitions between shots, and so on.
Another recent innovation is the iPix panel, a $195 application that lets users operate the controls of the Slate or Granite systems from an iPad, Broadcast Pix said.
Sonic Foundry introduced its “slimmer, sleeker” ML Recorder, billing the device as “the most portable and quickest to set up full-screen recorder in its class.” The ML Recorder combines high-quality video and audio, and its lightweight design makes it ideal for transporting from classroom to classroom. The ML Recorder weighs just 13 pounds—nine pounds lighter than its predecessor. That will make it easier for college faculty who have lugged around heavy lecture-capture systems to conferences and commencements, for instance.
TechSmith’s Snagit 10 is the latest version of the company’s industry-leading screen capture software. Released in May, Snagit 10 lets users capture their entire screen, a portion of the screen, a window, or a scrolling window—all with a single hotkey or mouse click. Snagit 10 also enables 360-degree text box rotation and includes editing tools that let students tweak elements such as text color, font style, and size; add cut-out or page-curl effects; and customize the background.
Students at Penn State’s College of Medicine use video capture and recording technology from VBrick Systems, which provides video-over-IP solutions for the school. Penn State’s medical students now can view streaming video of live medical procedures and communicate with surgeons in real time, VBrick said. The medical school has used VBrick’s technology to create a video library that faculty can use to show their students specific parts of recorded procedures.
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