LIVE @ ISTE 2024: Exclusive Coverage

Hardware, furniture, and AV systems


Epson's new PowerLite X9 offers 2,500 lumens of brightness and XGA resolution for $599.

Washable headphones, a turnkey solution for delivering 3D video, and an iPad storage cart that can synch up to 30 devices to iTunes from a single USB connection were among the latest products from makers of school computer hardware, furniture, and AV systems to be displayed at recent ed-tech conferences.

3M demonstrated its PocketProjector MP180, a touch-screen handheld projection device that lets educators quickly access, update, download, and project files. It features 32 lumens of brightness, Wi-Fi access, Bluetooth capability, 4GB standard memory, two .75-watt speakers, and two hours of battery life.

AVRover demonstrated its turnkey solution for delivering stereoscopic 3D video from a single system. The solution combines a 3D projector and cart, active shutter glasses, and 3D math and science content from providers such as DesignMate, Cyberanatomy, and Amazing Interactive. AVRover also sells its own 3D glasses that operate on rechargeable batteries and cost $59 per pair, much less than those from other manufacturers. An added benefit of the company’s glasses is that they fold up for easy storage and contain an on/off button to save on battery life.

Bretford showcased its new PowerSync Cart for Apple iPad devices, which can store, charge, and synchronize up to 30 iPads with iTunes over one USB connection, allowing you to move selected apps, books, videos, music, and Podcasts to each iPad according to your specifications.

Califone unveiled what it called the industry’s only fully washable headphones, which it demonstrated by submerging the headphones under water. The devices also are the first to limit the maximum volume output to 85 decibels, which is the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s recommended maximum volume for safe listening, Califone says. In addition, Califone introduced a Wireless Tablet Interface, a lightweight device that, once installed and calibrated with a Windows operating system, enables users to control computer desktop and presentation functions remotely. The tablet’s wireless functionality allows for use up to 50 feet from the computer when connected to a USB receiver, Califone says.

CDI announced during the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) conference that it has grown by 130 percent throughout the state of Texas and has worked with more than 330 schools in the state. The company offers refurbished, certified computers as a cost-friendly alternative to purchasing new equipment.

CDW-G and the Austin Independent School District (AISD) announced the installation of 2,000 “Innovation Stations” throughout the district’s 120 schools to give teachers and students technology-enabled lessons. AISD’s ed-tech staff, with help from CDW-G, designed the Innovation Station—a central podium with a touch-screen pad that enables teachers to control instructional technologies, including a mounted projector, screen, document camera, and classroom audio system with microphones, amplifiers, and speakers. The technology is supported with ongoing professional development for faculty.

Chief Manufacturing announced a partnership with Luidia, in which Luidia’s eBeam technology will be integrated into Chief’s Short Throw Projector Mount Line. Any short-throw projector now can be upgraded easily to perform a variety of digital functions, simply by installing the interactive wall mount, Chief said. Luidia’s eBeam technology makes it easy for users to annotate and interact with projected content, as well as capture, save, and share the content.

Conen displayed its height-adjustable system for interactive whiteboards, which is available as a wall mount or a mobile stand mount solution. The system is compatible with most boards and projectors.

Dell announced a new line of mobile options, including laptops, tablets, desktops, and workstations. The Streak 7 tablet gives students and educators anytime, anywhere access to Adobe Flash and non-Flash-based digital content, including lessons and coursework, in a multi-touch, lightweight, and interactive form factor. It features eReader capabilities and a front-facing webcam and rear-facing camera that shoots video. The Latitude series of notebook computers, part of Dell Education’s cornerstone Connected Classroom solution, continues to enable students to create, share, and consume content. The Latitude 2120 has evolved to include a long lifecycle battery and wireless mobile broadband or WiMax connectivity. The new S300wi Short-Throw Wireless Interactive projector lets teachers share slides and interact with students from any flat surface in a new and dynamic way, with the need for a standard interactive whiteboard, Dell said.

The MimioTeach system, from DYMO/Mimio, allows for any flat surface to be turned into an interactive whiteboard. It also can be used in conjunction with the MimioVote, an instant response system, and the MimioView, a document camera.

EarthWalk displayed its computer labs, electrical power management systems, and extended-life computer battery solutions. The company says its eco-friendly mobile lab solutions are up to six times more energy efficient than charging laptops with traditional AC/DC chargers.

ELMO USA discussed how it is expanding beyond document cameras to focus on becoming a full “classroom solutions provider.” As the company’s first step in making this transition, it has developed a wireless tablet device for annotating live images from an ELMO document camera from anywhere in the classroom. The company is bundling its CRA-1 wireless tablet with its TT-02RX document camera in a solution called ELMO Infinity, and it expects to announce more products this summer, including a student response system.

Epson America introduced the PowerLite X9, delivering bright and powerful projection to education for roughly $599. This new projector offers 2,500 lumens of light output and XGA resolution for detailed, bright presentations in classrooms, as well as small to medium-sized conference rooms. It features easy USB setup, closed captioning, extended lamp life, and 3LCD technology.

Ergotron showcased its mobile teaching stations for educators, which easily adjust in height so teachers can transition from sitting at a desk to teaching with a moving technology dock. Designed in both LCD and laptop formats, the TeachWell Mobile Digital Platform consolidates essential technology tools into a compact, high-performance hub, removing physical barriers between instructor and students for more collaborative learning environments, Ergotron says. Also featured was the company’s Neo-Flex Mobile MediaCenter, a versatile large display solution that stretches IT investment by serving a variety of video conferencing, classroom presentation, and digital signage needs.

Extron Electronics announced that its video controller and networking products have been added to the Eligible Services List (ESL) for the federal e-Rate program, which provides telecommunications discounts to eligible schools and libraries. The master controller and switches in Extron’s PoleVault System are listed as eligible for e-Rate support under the “Video Products” category in the program’s latest ESL, Extron said—although the system’s speakers and mounting brackets are not e-Rate eligible.

Hewlett-Packard (HP) announced its new Digital Learning Suite, which features a variety of products that aim to help teachers create a more engaging learning environment. The HP Digital Learning Suite includes the HP Digital Sketch, HP Pocket Whiteboard, HP Classroom Manager, HP MultiSeat t150 Thin Client, HP Presentation Station 1000, and HP Notebook Charging Carts.

Hitachi introduced the iPJ-AW250N Interactive Projector, which has all the functionality of an interactive whiteboard built into it, eliminating the need for additional hardware. Any suitable wall or surface can be converted into an interactive display using the projector, Hitachi said. The iPJ-AW250N features a touch screen, as well as an ultra-short-throw lens that enables it to be mounted close to a wall or projection surface. This prevents obstructed images and shadows, with no light shining in the presenter’s eyes. The user can annotate, manipulate, and resize projected images by using Hitachi’s pen-sized Interactive Control; a remote control also is included.

Lock ‘n’ Charge, whose products are made from recyclable steel, displayed ECO Safe Charge, a power management system that combines energy savings and safety. The company also supports Carbon Neutral to offset emissions. Carbon Neutral is a nonprofit that works to measure, reduce, and offset greenhouse gas emissions.

Luidia introduced the eBeam Engage, which—like the eBeam Edge Projection—lets users quickly transform any standard whiteboard or display surface into an interactive whiteboard. But the longer eBeam Engage also contains built-in speakers, a built-in microphone for recording lessons, and a pen cradle. What’s more, it comes with a handheld keyboard control unit that enables users to enter text or control their computer from anywhere in the room.

Lumens demonstrated its Ladybug document camera, which it says is the world’s first wireless document camera for educators. Simply attach the DCA11 FLYER Accessory to any DC120 Ladibug Document Camera, and teachers can present lessons from anywhere in the classroom. Benefits include no more wires; high-definition image clarity; a five-year unlimited replacement warranty; and free training, the company says.

Marsh Industries displayed the Marsh Integro, a traditional markerboard and interactive whiteboard in one. The board is powered by DYMO Mimio Interactive Technology and gives users access to images, design templates, multimedia, and lesson plans.

OKI Printing Solutions displayed its High Definition Color Printing technology, which uses four core elements: high-definition LED print heads, microfine high-definition toner, single-pass flat paper path, and a printer control system. The company’s Total Managed Print solution is a comprehensive Managed Print Services (MPS) offering that is designed to significantly reduce the costs of a school system’s annual document output, as well as increase workflow efficiencies. OKI also demonstrated its C610 Series, B411/B431 Series, and MB700 MFP Series printers.

Promethean unveiled a new generation of interactive whiteboards, the ActivBoard 500 Pro series, that can be operated with a digital pen and the touch of a finger at the same time. Educators can switch between pen and touch input, or they can allow these inputs at the same time, Promethean said—enabling up to four students use the board simultaneously for collaborative group work. The boards themselves are compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux-based computers, but the multi-touch capability only works with Windows 7.

Renaissance Learning showcased the NEO 2 mobile device, which includes a full-featured word processor, a keyboarding instruction program, writing lessons, and a classroom management tool. Instructors can assign, collect, edit, and disseminate student work. The device runs for up to 700 hours on three AA batteries.

RM Education displayed its VerTable, a height-adjustable project table that can be used horizontally, vertically, as a dry-erase board, or as a projection screen. When used with an eBeam projection kit from Luidia and an ultra short-throw projector, the VerTable becomes a fully collaborative surface. RM also introduced the RM Slate, a handheld tablet designed for K-12 students and educators. It uses Windows 7 and features a multi-touch screen, pen stylus, and handwriting recognition.

Samsung presented its projectors and display systems, including the LED EX Series digital displays, which use 30- to 50-percent less power than conventional CCFL displays. Samsung’s P410M pocket projector weighs about 2 pounds and is designed for travel. And the 650TS Interactive Whiteboard Solution features a 65-inch screen, optical touch technology, and lets users access content over a computer or network and add PowerPoint presentations, photos, videos, live webcam interviews, and online searches.

Spectrum Industries displayed its mLT30 Laptop Cart, also designed to hold up to 30 netbooks or iPads up to 12 inches in length. The car features power outlets, dual-bolt locking, and is efficiently vented for airflow cooling.

The Diversimount universal stationary mount solution from Track Technology Systems supports most major interactive whiteboard brands, including Hitachi, SMART, Promethean, and PolyVision. The system fastens atop and below existing chalk or dry-erase boards and features a five-position vertical adjustment.

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