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Epson Interactive Projectors in Schools and why They’re Useful

Epson Interactive Projectors in Schools and why They’re Useful

Epson’s interactive projectors in schools are all about making learning more engaging. With a lot of experience producing interactive education projectors, it’s no wonder that education institutions are abandoning interactive whiteboards, large format projectors and display panels in favour of Epson’s interactive projectors.

Better value and more versatile, an interactive projector provides a fuss-free all-in-one solution that makes education a more collaborative and fun process than ever before.

So what makes Epson’s interactive projectors for Melbourne and Australian schools, classrooms, boardrooms and meeting rooms so great?

 

They encourage collaboration.

Interactive projectors are all about encouraging collaboration. Take Epson’s popular EB-695Wi projector; it uses two interactive pens, which allows a teacher and a student – or ten students – to write on the same screen at the same time. Responsive and easy to use, these pens also have a ‘hover’ function that accurately detects when they are not in contact with the projection surface. These interactive projectors encourage collaborative learning by placing the teacher and student at the front of the room in an inclusive and constructive environment. Whether you’re connecting to the projector wirelessly or via hard cables, you’ll be able to annotate, write and draw over any laptop and/or in-built document.

Smart apps & tablet integration.

Epson’s ushering-in of a new era of interactive projectors goes beyond collaboration to achieving an advanced smart learning platform for schools. Using the Epson iProjection app for tablets and smartphones, a teacher can annotate the onscreen image from a mobile device, and so can students. Not only can you project content from smart devices, but the PC-free annotation whiteboard mode means that teachers don’t even need to power up their computers. You can also download and install your own finger-touch-compatible apps to your PC or tablet device, using Epson’s interactive projection technology to engage and foster a developing academic environment.

eb 695wi interactive projectors for classrooms

Show off movies and YouTube video clips in class.

Another string to the interactive projector’s bow is its ability to annotate directly onto videos in class, which is an increasingly important part of the content mix in schools and colleges. Whether you’re playing a video directly from YouTube or streaming from your local hard drive, Epson’s interactive projectors make it easier to discuss video clips as part of any teaching curriculum.

Taking advantage of existing infrastructure.

For many institutions a big advantage of installing interactive projectors in Melbourne is that no other upgrade is needed; existing whiteboards or interactive whiteboards can stay because interactive projectors can project an image onto any surface. So exciting, yet simple is the technology that it’s likely that, at first, many students will want to see exactly how their classroom’s new interactive projector works.

eb 695wi interactive projectors for classrooms

Super bright and detailed images.

Epson’s expertise in projection, and the development of its own powerful 3LCD system, means that image quality from these products is second to none. Projecting a White and Colour Light Output of up to 4,200 ANSI lumens, images are crisp, vibrant and colourful – and, crucially, remain so even in bright daylight.

Boosting engagement.

A learning experience that’s more involving and more fun is always going to increase students’ motivation and produce better results. Hugely versatile interactive projectors help achieve this by broadening the possibilities for teachers’ classroom methods. Teachers are limited only by their imagination and their commitment to taking advantage of the technology’s features. Epson’s interactive projectors are rapidly being adopted throughout education, and the reasons are as simple as the products’ design and features. Is there any more exciting use for new technology than to help encourage collaboration and engagement in learning?

If you’d like to learn more about how Epson interactive projectors can benefit your Melbourne school or business, contact Vision One today on (03) 9467-3777.

10 Things Every Touchscreen Buyer Should Know

10 Things Every Touchscreen Buyer Should Know

via @iBoardTouch:

Just like with purchasing a house, buying a touchscreen can be a daunting task for first time buyers. Buyers do not necessarily know the right questions to ask, which is why we have broken down 10 things every touchscreen buyer should know.

1. Do your prep

It pays to think about what you need before you start researching potential solutions. The choice of models, feature-sets and specifications can be overwhelming if you don’t have an idea of what you need. Ask yourself questions about the spaces in which the screens will be used. How many classrooms or other spaces require screens? What is the size of each room? How many students per class? Do you need some to be mobile? If so, where will they be used? And what will they need to connect to?

2. Evaluate the technology

You will be able to get plenty of information from brochures and spec sheets, but nothing beats seeing products in action. Watch demo video clips or even get hands-on – download trial software. Take the time to try it out yourself.  Why not take some teachers and students along to your supplier’s demo centre to assess the model or request the product is brought to you.

3. Screen size

You want all content displayed on the screen to be clear and legible to all your class wherever they’re sitting so it’s essential to have the right size of screen for the size of space. Touch screens are available up to 105-inch in size so there’s going to be a size to suit all spaces. Don’t be afraid to ask a trusted supplier to advise you on the optimal size for your room. Remember, touch screens can easily be moved when mounted on a trolley and are bright enough to be used in a variety of spaces such as libraries, staff rooms or the assembly hall.

4. Not all panels are equal

While touch screens may look similar, the panel inside varies hugely in terms of quality and reliability so be sure to ask: ‘What is the panel grade?’ and ‘What is the panel failure rate?’

There are different grades of panel from B to A++ with A++ the best quality. To achieve top grade, the panel should have virtually no flaws such as dark or light spots, light leakage round the edges or other blemishes, which affect the quality and uniformity of the image reproduction. The lower the grade, the more flaws are permitted. The highest-grade panels tend to be more reliable and have lower failure rates. Less than 1% failure rate is very low so ideal; 2-4% is mid and 5-9% is high and 10% and above is a very high failure rate.

5. Display quality

Other factors affect how well content displays including the resolution of the screen. The higher the resolution, the more detail can be displayed, which helps to ensure even tiny text and numbers, minute details and subtleties in colour and shade are clear. Full HD or 1080p is sufficient for screens up to 65-inch while 4K is ideal for anything above this. A key component for computers with a 4K Screen within a classroom are graphics card – look for these bundled with the screen. With content likely to become more high resolution over the long life of your screen, it makes sense to future-proof (see 10 below) so opt for 4K now.

6. Multi-touch interaction

Touch screen models use a variety of touch technologies. Most now support multi-touch of 2, 4, 6, 10 or 32 simultaneous touches. Two is the minimum needed to pinch, zoom, double-tap etc. – the touch gestures we’re all used to from our smartphones and tablets. Four is the minimum you’ll need if two people are to use the screen at the same time. If your screen will be used as a touch table, opt for as many touches as possible so students can work together in groups around the device. Multi-touch is not the same as multi-user so ensure you test this in a demo. Don’t forget, there are also other ways to interact with your touch display from tablets or laptops using software like DigiClass to connect up to 40 iOS, Android and Windows devices wirelessly. 

7. Connectivity

Remember, when connecting the screen with tablets, you want bi-directional connection so you can not only share the contents of the tablet on the big screen, but also have the students see what’s on the large screen on their tablet, annotate it and save it. Apple TV won’t do this with iPads, but software like DigiClass will and depending on your bundle may be free with your screen.

Another key aspect to look for is built-in WiFi. The ability for the screen to act as a WiFi hotspot and an Ethernet hard-wired connection (RJ45) if your WiFi isn’t that great, as well as ports for USB, HDMI, microphones and RS232 if you have a room control system.

 8. Software

You want to be free to use the software of your choosing in your school, college, university or office so make sure there is nothing to restrict that choice. You will however, definitely need tools that provide flawless whiteboarding and the ability to annotate and connect to tablets and use them as voting handsets or as cameras/visualisers. School users will also be glad of tools that make your lives easier, like the ability to open native Smart and Promethean files so there’s no need to recreate all those lessons you’ve accumulated.

Software can sound good but be disappointing in use so the best way to assess the software provided is to download a trail version and try it out yourself.

9. Features that support your method of teaching and presenting

Video-conferencing and screen recording are fantastic tools for connecting to other schools and organisations, enabling students or teachers to connect in from home, another classroom, school or anywhere they happen to be. iBT’s screen record built-in to IWBpro is also a great way to create revision resources for your students and prepare materials for use in flipped and active learning. A long cabled webcam can also be invaluable for use as a standard video camera which can be incorporated with our ‘visualizer tool’ to project the image from the camera on the screen.

10. Future proofing

Your new touch screen will have a much longer life than your old projector and whiteboard. Today’s touch screens will typically still be working at full brightness in ten years time so it makes sense to not only consider what you need today, but what your teachers and students will need in the future. Choosing a solution with MS windows compatibility and Android will be vital. Get the best of both worlds with quick access to apps for use on the screen at the click of a button. Apps will become an important tool in the digital classroom of the (near) future so ensure your front-of-class screen has Android for complete versatility.

In the end purchasing a touch screen is like making any other big purchase. It requires research and thought. Whether you are a first time buyer or looking to upgrade your exisiting touchscreen, make sure you take in to account the 10 Things Every Touchscreen Buyer Should Know.

Introducing ‘Flip': Samsung’s Giant Digital Whiteboard

Introducing ‘Flip': Samsung’s Giant Digital Whiteboard

via @Gizmodo:

Samsung has a vision for a “workplace of the future” – and it includes a giant, rotating, digital whiteboard that can screen mirror your phone and have four people writing on it at the same time.

Samsung calls the Flip WM55H “an upgrade on both standard paper flip charts and analog boards” – basically packing a host of digital features into what aims to still feel like a traditional whiteboard.

“However, unlike its predecessors,” Samsung says, “Samsung Flip allows easy sharing, annotation, movement and even searching, as well as the ability for multiple users to create content at once.”

The Flip is on wheels, is height adjustable and can also be wall mounted either horizontally or vertically.

“The often-flawed logistics of the modern meeting make it easy for participants to feel disengaged and for vital ideas and discoveries to become lost,” said Seog-gi Kim, Executive Vice President of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics.

“Today’s workers require more powerful and flexible technologies, and we truly believe that our new Samsung Flip display offers endless possibilities for driving impactful collaboration. We are excited to debut the Samsung Flip at CES 2018, and we look forward to building upon this technology to help businesses work better, smarter and faster.”

Up to four people can use their fingers or a special dual-sided pen (one side is a highlighter, which is very cool) in unique writing styles, sizes and colours so you can tell them apart.

But it’s not just the pen or your finger (your palm acts as an eraser), you can add content via wireless connectivity, USB, PC, mobile ports and NFC.

There are 20 “pages” of space on the Flip, and each can be searched. Once you’re done with your meeting/session, the content is stored in a central database behind a password lock. When you log back in, you can download and share the content through email, save it to a USB or external hard drive – or you can even print it, if you’re old school.

BrightSign Unveils New Media Players

BrightSign Unveils New Media Players

BrightSign, LLC®, the global market leader in digital signage media players, today announced the first major overhaul of the company’s players in nearly two years. BrightSign’s lineup of digital signage media players has been completely redesigned and will ship with a portfolio of technology updates including an M.2 interface for Wi-Fi antennae or a solid-state drive (M.2 SSD). BrightSign’s free BrightAuthor software and the BrightSign Network are also updated with advanced digital signage features for enterprise-level performance.

“The digital signage marketplace is evolving rapidly. For that reason it’s important that our technology solutions not only support signage as it’s being used today, but that they also work flawlessly many years from now,” said Jeff Hastings, BrightSign’s CEO. “Customers can install our players today knowing that BrightSign software, hardware and networking solutions will serve them well in the future as they implement new and exciting digital signage features.”

BrightAuthor software v4.5 will enable a new feature on the HD, XD and XT players called Mosaic Mode, which allows a multitude of lower-resolution videos to be played in multiple video zones that add up to the total resolution decoding power of the player’s video decoder. CEA HDR 10 is supported on all players delivering a much higher contrast ratio and much wider color palette, complementing the higher resolution of 4K displays. And the ability to real-time encode and stream content from the player to another end-point or device is now incorporated in XD and XT players.

B-Deploy, a powerful new feature that allows customers to set up and deploy from tens to thousands of players all at once, can be used with the BrightSign Network, a BrightSign Partner CMS, or an on-premise secure corporate LAN with internet access.

BrightSign Network, including the new B-Deploy feature, now supports media and player tagging for highly targeted content distribution to large networks of players.

Each of the seven new players boasts a sleek new industrial design with a very slim profile under 1” in height that makes it possible to place the players virtually anywhere. All new players integrate H.265 (HEVC playback features) and HTML5. The top two product lines (XD and XT) offer a hardware-accelerated H.265 video decoding engine capable of 4K HDR 10-bit video playback.

BrightSign’s portfolio of digital signage media players is now comprised of seven players spanning four product lines:

BrightSign LS: Affordable, Compact and Fully Featured

BrightSign’s LS423 is a fully featured, commercial-grade player offering a superior alternative to consumer devices often chosen for price-sensitive digital signage installations. Based on the award-winning BrightSign HD platform, BrightSign LS423 delivers signature reliability and affordability, with a robust feature set including H.265 Full HD video decoding, a basic HTML5 engine, USB 2.0 type C, and networking.

BrightSign HD: Updated Classic with Mainstream Performance

BrightSign’s new HD models are updated with advanced technology that delivers power and performance for mainstream applications at a very affordable cost. Both the HD223 and HD1023 offer hardware-accelerated HTML5 engine and 1080p60 decode, along with BrightSign’s highly reliable media-handling platform and signature ease of use. All HD models support Gigabit Ethernet, as well as robust interactive controls and dynamic live content features.

BrightSign XD: True 4K Playback and Advanced Performance

BrightSign’s two new XD players are capable of decoding either two 1080p60 videos or a single 4K video and a single 1080p60 video simultaneously. Both the XD233 and XD1033 have Gigabit Ethernet and offer an advanced hardware-accelerated HTML5 engine.

BrightSign XT: State-of-the-Art Technology with Enterprise Performance

The BrightSign XT243 and XT1143 offer unsurpassed performance with the company’s fastest HTML and graphics engine and the most powerful CPU. This state-of-the-art technology for enterprise level digital signage installations supports dual video decode of one 4K and one 1080p60 video simultaneously. The hardware-accelerated HTML5 engine enables flawless playback of multiple modular HTML5 assets including CSS animations, Web GL and swipe/gesture interactivity. Both XT models support PoE+ and Gigabit Ethernet, and the XT1143 offers HDMI-in for Live TV playback.

For more information about BrightSign’s complete portfolio of digital signage hardware and software, contact Vision One on (03) 9467-3777.

Epiphan Pearl – The Ultimate Live Streaming Platform

Epiphan Pearl – The Ultimate Live Streaming Platform

Live streaming is hardly considered a specialty service anymore. Most performance venues are realising it’s virtually a requirement to stay with the times in an increasingly online, inter-connected world. TV channel counts are dwarfed by the gazillion options available live on the Internet, and stream-hosting websites like ustream.tv and livestream.com have never been busier.

Pearl is a solution that allows you to integrate live streaming functionality without requiring a complete overhaul of your pre-installed AV systems. It’s designed for live video production, and provides switching and recording functionality in addition to streaming. Up to four HD video sources can be connected to the rack unit, all of which can be displayed in a variety of system via HDMI, SDI, or analogue TRS inputs.

Users can facilitate the power of the Pearl to record a session, edit it, and get a package up online within 24 hours with the easy access format, providing simplicity to integrate directly into Final Cut or Premiere Pro. The Pearl can also be custom-branded, giving customers a totally whitelabeled experience to present to their visitors.

Learn more about Epiphan Pearl here.

Make Anything Your Canvas: Projection Mapping Content

Make Anything Your Canvas: Projection Mapping Content

Video appearing on large objects is nothing new. For decades, Times Square in New York has had video monitors on the sides of buildings. What is becoming more common, with the advent of stronger projectors, is making the building itself a screen.

In a process called projection mapping, a 3D model of a building is made, then this model or map is entered into special software that allows video designers to “wrap” images that are projected back onto the original surface. This requires very high resolution, high lumen projectors and often more than one projector to cover a large surface. The result is a stunningly clear image and new levels of creativity.

 

The Disney Way

When it comes to creativity and innovation, the Walt Disney Company often leads the way. We spoke with Chuck Davis, Principal Technical Director at Creative Entertainment for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, and he told us that the concept was actually born in Disneyland.

There are three singing statue busts in the Haunted Mansion, which debuted in 1969. Originally the illusion was done by projecting a head shot of the singer that was perfectly cut out to match the surface. Chuck tells us, “Disney pioneered the process of taking specific imagery that is designed to highlight or augment or work with the surface that it’s projected onto. Walt Disney Imagineering has been working on this for a long time.”

 

Let’s Celebrate

Fast Forward to the present and Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary Celebration. The creative team took 18 months to develop a fully immersive outdoor show called “Disneyland Forever”. Davis says, “We wanted to tell the story of what Disneyland was about. We projection mapped on the castle with super high accuracy.” But because of the way Disneyland is laid out, not every guest can see it during the fireworks show, so he tells us that they projection map onto “It’s a Small World” and even the 80 ft high Matterhorn. Davis continues, “We projection mapped the entirety of Main Street. Each block is a 4K shot, so literally Main Street is a 16K video image.”

 

Erik Koehler is the Senior Video Designer for Creative Entertainment at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. He gives us the technical specs on the hardware: “Those are all separate systems and we tried to keep all the pixel densities similar across all the surfaces. It requires three totally different systems with totally different lenses to achieve that.” Koehler tells us that all of the projectors are by Christie (link is external). They chose the Boxer 4K30 for the Matterhorn. There are four Roadster HD20K-J’s to cover the castle. Main Street is longer but the throw is shorter so they use 14 projectors.

 

A Green What?

Both men say they the key to the process is the Hippotizer (link is external) from Green Hippo). This is the processor that seams the images together and software that allows for the creation of 2D images laid over large 3D objects.

Chuck Davis says that there are three ways to think about the process, “We can just project on the object like it’s a flat screen. We put textures and things on there. Second, using the Hippo itself to do shrink wrap, we can take a 2D image, project it onto the model detail and then we can start moving it around.”

Additionally, he says they can add barriers within the animation to make objects appear to follow the building’s exterior. “There’s a scene in the show where balloons start popping up. They are flying in the air and they bounce off the contours. They bounce off a ramp, bounce off the veranda and one hits a little bit of the turret and then flies off into the air.” Davis continues, “The third thing we can do, that people are most amazed by, is that we can animate in 3D on a 3D and it looks like the building is doing something that it can’t do. It looks like it’s getting squashed or blown up or flipping over or doing crazy things. We play with your eye and trick you into believing that these crazy things are happening.”

Erik Koehler designs the systems and he says that the greatest limitation they face is the size of the images and the speed of their processors, “The size of that file is the tricky part. You can’t go too big because then it becomes too burdensome on the video server to playback live.”

 

Look East To The Future

Davis and Koehler say that what we’ve seen at Disneyland is just the beginning. Their team is working on 4K resolution they are moving that way very rapidly. Chuck Davis says, “We’re opening a new park in Shanghai. It features the largest castle ever built. We’re working on a show that will have 18 4K projectors. It’s the largest canvas that we’ve ever projected on in terms of pixels. Green Hippo has never done anything this large and they are the king of the industry.”

Real Mirror-like Interactive Signage

Real Mirror-like Interactive Signage

Elevate your traditional mirror into a futuristic, appealing display that brings a ‘wow’ factor to any customer-facing environment. Samsung’s MLE Series display is a multi-functional hybrid display that adds unparalleled clarity and readily-available information to any mirror setting. The polarized film overlay within MLE displays ensures higher transmittance and reflectance in order to attain a more realistic product view. The MLE Series displays add ambience to any retail setting through a sleek, pristine design. With an embedded proximity sensor, built-in WiFi and integrated Samsung MagicInfo software, MLE displays can be leveraged as an all-in-one retail solution, allowing for the displays to become a valuable tool for driving and managing retail sales.

 

A Captivating Mirror/Signage Hybrid Display

Samsung’s MLE mirror displays create a more engaging and informative customer experience by combining the power and reach of digital signage with the visual clarity of a standard mirror. Featuring high (55 percent) reflectance, the MLE displays clearly portray both real-time mirror imagery and complementary content with minimal visual impairment. Through improved visual accuracy, the MLE display can serve as a valuable sales tool that persuades and informs customers.

Clearer, More Visible Presentation

The unique composition of Samsung’s MLE mirror displays offers consumers a more realistic and complete product view. Featuring a polarized film overlay, the MLE mirror displays deliver superb transmittance (90 percent) and advanced reflectance (55 percent) that reduce visual distraction. As a result, customers can enjoy clearer and more vivid content than standard half-mirror format alternatives offer while simultaneously receiving higher-performing mirror visibility.

Distraction-Free Design

Samsung’s MLE displays elevate the traditional mirror through a bezel-free design that further keeps viewers focused on reflected and shared content rather than on the signage itself. Additionally, this bezel-free composition grants retail owners added flexibility to take their mirror display arrangements even further. Several MLE displays can be combined into unique, video-wall style arrangements without gaps or inconsistencies between screens, generating endless visual possibilities.

Seamless Mirror and Content Transition

As shoppers approach and depart, the MLE displays’ embedded proximity sensor instinctively transitions between traditional promotional signage and a clear mirror. Retailers can set the sensors to activate once motion is detected at one of three distances (0.7m, 1.0m and 1.5m), while also pre-setting the display to shrink (small-image mode) or expand (full-image mode) featured imagery. Users also have the flexibility to set the shape and position of the expanded or contracted content to match specific motions.

Easy Content Control

Enjoy the versatility of expanded connectivity to mobile devices, from easy media sharing and screen control to simple content mirroring from a tablet or mobile phone to your display. With Samsung MagicInfo content management software, selecting and scheduling software is simple to control with either an RS232 or LAN/WiFi connection.

Powerful System-on-Chip Performance With a Quad Core CPU

Powered by a System-on-Chip (SoC) semiconductor and quad core CPU with 8GB of storage, Samsung’s SMART Signage Platform is an open and integrated player side media platform that provides a powerful, streamlined solution to reduce TCO for digital signage deployments, through savings in hardware, installation and operating costs

Enhanced Connectivity Options

2 USB, DVI, DP, HDMI, Component and Composite inputs provide enhanced connectivity to meet your business’ digital signage needs.

Samsung’s Revolutionary New Digital Display Product Range

At ISE 2016, Samsung showcased a wide range of future-focused technologies, including the industry’s slimmest video wall, fine pixel-pitch LED signage, interactive mirror display and transparent OLED display.

Check out the video above for more information.

ZTE has Turned its Smart Projector into a Full-Fledged Tablet

ZTE has Turned its Smart Projector into a Full-Fledged Tablet

ZTE’s Spro line of mini smart projectors have always been curiosities. Combining the functions of a smartphone, projector, mobile hotspot, and USB battery into one chunky device, the Spro (pronounced “ess-pro”) units have always seemed like an interesting idea, but with really niche use cases. Still, ZTE has had success with two generations of the Spro, and its latest model, the Spro Plus, takes its crazy combination device ideas further than ever.

The Spro Plus is bigger and more powerful than its predecessors, with an 8.4-inch, 2560 x 1600 pixel Super AMOLED display, making it more of a tablet-sized device than the earlier versions. It’s powered by a Snapdragon 801 or 625 processor, comes in both Wi-Fi and LTE variants with support for VoLTE, and runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Its projector is a 500 lumens, WXGA resolution laser unit, which is more than twice as bright as the projector in the Spro 2. The Spro Plus also has video conferencing capability with an external camera and two four watt JBL speakers. All of this is housed in a frame that’s significantly thinner than the Spro 2 and is powered by an enormous 12,100mAh battery. ZTE says that’s good enough for at least four hours of streaming video projected on a wall.

ZTE really wants the Spro Plus to be “second most used device after your smartphone”, which helps explain why it’s tried to cram so many features into the box. But while the Spro Plus definitely looks cooler and can do more than the Spro models before it, we’ll have to see if anyone outside of a traveling salesperson bites on ZTE’s offer when it hits stores this summer for a to-be-announced price.

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