Three key developments in school AV technology

In collaboration mode, the instructor can see who’s connected and can transfer control of the presentation to any of these participants. Access to the projector also can be password-protected if administrators want more security over the process.

Panasonic also demonstrated software that enables support for Windows, Mac, iOS, or Android devices. Up to 16 users can connect simultaneously to any of Panasonic’s 16 wireless projector models from whatever device they’re using, the company says.

A “Live Mode Cut-in” feature enables real-time collaboration and can be turned off for teacher-led instruction, and password protection controls who has access to the machine. As with BenQ’s software, Panasonic’s does not yet support live video streaming from an iOS or Android device—only still images for now.

Meanwhile, Christie previewed a new meeting-room product that will enable up to five users at a time to share their screen or run a presentation—including full audio and video—from any Windows, Mac, iOS, or Android device easily.

Called Brio, the product will be available for purchasing this fall. It consists of a hardware node that can be connected to a projector or large-screen display. The software that runs the system includes interactive whiteboard functionality, so users can add notes to files and mark up presentations. And, because it’s connected to the school’s network, Brio supports whatever network security rules are already in place.

Vaddio introduced a similar concept with two new products called GroupStation and HuddleStation, hubs for connecting a user’s laptop or tablet to a presentation or video conference.

“In today’s world, connecting a mobile device into [an] AV system is one of the biggest pains—and it shouldn’t be,” said Vaddio CEO Rob Sheeley in a press release. “HuddleStation and GroupStation … empower users to simply connect their mobile device to the dock and open their application of choice to start a meeting, presentation, or video call.”

GroupStation consists of a table-based MicPOD dock and a wall-mounted sound bar that incorporates an HD camera in its center. The MicPOD dock functions as a microphone, speaker phone, user interface, and laptop/tablet dock. Users can connect their laptops or tablets via HDMI or VGA connections to share video on the room display.

HuddleStation is identical to the GroupStation, but it’s tailored for smaller meeting rooms designed to accommodate 4-6 people. As a result, HuddleStation has a very wide-angle camera lens (82 degrees) to get everyone into the camera shot. Also, the MicPOD dock’s audio system has been tuned to eliminate the echo and increased room noise that occurs in smaller spaces, Vaddio said.

Longer lamp life, more energy efficiency

New developments in AV technology have resulted in projectors with lamps that last much longer and that use less energy, which can slash the machines’ total cost of ownership.

eSchool News Staff

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