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Archive for month: May, 2015

Epson Interactive Projectors now with SMART Notebook® Collaborative Learning Software in Australia and New Zealand

Epson Interactive Projectors now with SMART Notebook® Collaborative Learning Software in Australia and New Zealand

Epson Australia have announced that educators in Australia and New Zealand now have more options for delivering lessons with interactive capabilities for effective learning as their interactive projectors can now be used with SMART Notebook software, the world’s leading collaborative learning software.

Under this arrangement, Epson will sell SMART Notebook software through its reseller network, either when purchased with an Epson interactive projector or for existing interactive projector customers, allowing educators to easily select the industry-leading collaborative learning software. Both Epson and SMART will provide customer support for their respective products, giving educators full confidence as they bring more interactivity into classrooms and other learning spaces.


This is an addition to existing agreements in the U.S and Europe, where SMART has granted distribution rights for its proprietary collaborative learning software to Epson as part of the company’s software accessibility strategy.


“This collaboration in ANZ underscores Epson’s commitment to delivering technology tools to teachers that will enhance and transform the education process,” said Craig Heckenberg, Epson Australia’s Business Division General Manager. “The combination of SMART Notebook software and Epson’s interactive projectors provides educators with the flexibility to create high-impact lessons that bring learning to life.”


“With our ongoing commitment to educational software, including developments for both desktop and cloud-based options, we are enabling more natural and effective learning anywhere, anytime on any device both inside and outside the classroom,” says Greg Estell, President, Solutions, for SMART Technologies. “SMART’s strategy is to make the world’s most popular collaborative learning software available to more schools, teachers and students around the world and we are excited to be working with Epson, and its leading line of projectors, as a step towards realising this goal.”


Award-winning SMART Notebook software is intuitive and easy to use, allowing students to learn naturally, without the technology becoming a distraction. Educators can quickly create and add relevant and customisable content to their lessons, making them engaging and impactful. Supported by the SMART Exchange™ website, teachers can find resources, share lesson material and exchange tips and success stories about using SMART products in the classroom. With over 65,000 digital resources available in 23 languages, teachers have access to images, videos, and pre-created SMART Notebook files and lesson activities correlated to curriculum standards.


Epson’s award-winning range of short-throw and ultra short-throw interactive projectors offer advanced connectivity options to project onto any existing whiteboard, wall or other smooth, light-coloured, hard surface. Epson interactive projectors offer finger-touch2 as well as multi-pen support and built-in annotation technology that allows teachers and students to instantly interact directly with a projected image from a variety of sources beyond the PC, including tablets, smartphones, document cameras, Blu-ray players and more. These cost-effective projectors models deliver a large interactive learning area with variable image sizes from 60 to 100-inches diagonal (WXGA), depending on model and include HDMI connectivity.


Shipments of Epson interactive projectors with SMART Notebook software licenses will commence on 2 May 2015 in Australia, with New Zealand to follow shortly thereafter. SMART Notebook software licences will be available for existing Epson customers through Epson and SMART resellers.

Interactive In-Store Experiences Could Make the Difference in Retail Survival

Interactive In-Store Experiences Could Make the Difference in Retail Survival

Today’s consumer is often betwixt between the power of the digital marketplace and the shiny allure of the in-store experience. They want the instant gratification of leaving a store with their purchase in tow but also information for product research to make well-informed buying decisions. The in-store experience lacks the detailed product data and customer reviews found on the store’s website, but the website lacks the tangible aspect one gets from the brick-and-mortar experience.

So, what’s a business to do about it? How do you please the customer who wants the best of both worlds?

The seamless experience

Retailers are finding that customer experience is just as important as product selection and price. Terry Jones, founder of Travelocity and Kayak, has said, “You can have great products, but if the customer can’t find them quickly, you’re dead. [Customers] care about finding and buying the product the way they want to buy it, where they want to buy it. You have to create the right experience for the right moment in the customer buying cycle.”

Understanding that customer experience encompasses what happens face-to-face, on a store kiosk, online or in a mobile app, the branding across all these platforms has to be consistent, and equally captivating.

GameStop President Tony Bartel has said that the biggest challenge for retailers is to create a customer experience that excites and inspires people to continue in an ongoing relationship, and that this is particularly challenging with millennials. “To remain relevant to them, we have to meet them where they are. They’re very seamless in the way they use data, so being able to create that consistent brand experience is very important. Authenticity is very important.”

Try different things

If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again, right? There is no silver bullet for what is going to engage and impress your customers. For many companies, years of research and intelligence has gone into creating an optimal Web experience, yet their digital in-store touch displays and mobile apps leave features to be desired. Too often I see underutilized kiosks that lack the necessary functionality to be a useful shopping companion, and I’m frequently left wondering, where’s the software update?

At this year’s Retail’s BIG show, Kayak’s Jones provided advice to retailers: “I’m going to talk a lot about taking risks and how very important it is in today’s fast-moving environment. You have to create a culture that embraces experimentation and failure. However, you don’t have to bet the farm on your experiment. Small experiments, rapid prototyping, testing smartly and adapting quickly are important to limit your risk. You have to spend a great deal of time listening to customers to tease out where they want you to go. Yet customers won’t tell you the next revolutionary idea, you have to look beyond what’s immediately apparent. That takes reading and watching broadly, both inside and outside of your industry, to combine new technologies with social trends to create engaging new products.”

The future belongs to those who build the best consumer-facing network

“In order to be successful in today’s fast moving and highly competitive environment, retailers must offer unique products and services across all channels,” said Toys “R” Us Inc. Chairman and CEO Jerry Storch when asked what embracing an omnichannel approach means for retail leaders. “The future belongs to those that build the best consumer-facing network . . .”

And Toys “R” Us is doing just that; it has introduced a highly engaging interactive multitouch kiosk with gesture-recognition capabilities for one of their stores in Redwood, California. This interactive kiosk allows shoppers to check the availability of a specific product they’re looking for, and if it’s not available, they can order it at the kiosk and pick it up at a later time or find another Toys “R” Us location where it is available. This application is also available as a smartphone app. Customers can pay for the item they’re looking for within the app, and then pick up their item at a nearby store.

In this day and age, consumers really want to have it all and on their own terms. Companies who can successfully provide that will gain not just customers but evangelists.

Inside Active Learning Classrooms

Video caption: The new Science Teaching and Student Services building at the University of Minnesota will have 10 Active Learning Classrooms. Active Learning Classrooms allow for students to experience a more interactive and conversational educational environment. With round tables for discussion and high-tech accessories for interactivity, these classrooms will service more than 125 class sections this fall.

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