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CT Preshow Exclusive : InfoComm 2008 : Our Product Picks!

Your guide to the outstanding products showcased this month in Las Vegas. Don’t miss these booths!
ResponseCard AnyWhere by Turning Technologies

ResponseCard AnyWhere by Turning TechnologiesAnytime, Anywhere Interactive Polling

Editor's Top PickAt colleges and universities across the country, personal response systems (PRS) are helping educators assess their students’ grasp of course material, and gauge the effectiveness of course delivery methods before students fall behind. And now, Turning Technologies has improved on the PRS model with ResponseCard AnyWhere, its new handheld polling solution that doesn’t require a projector, computer, or even electrical outlets to operate—which not only lowers the cost of implementation, but also brings anytime, anywhere capability to response technology. About the size of a deck of cards, ResponseCard AnyWhere allows an instructor to poll students with the press of a button. Students react to questions via ResponseCard RF keypads, and the instructor’s receiver tabulates and displays results via an integrated LCD screen. Booth N6171

XDC-3000 by BarcoTool for High-End Collaboration

These days, collaboration is a buzzword for techsavvy campuses, whether for students collaborating in the classroom or decision-makers working together in the administration building. Specifically designed for interactive meetings and collaborative decision-making, the new XDC-3000 display system from Barco bundles its 10- megapixel LCoS LX-5 projector with a high-contrast screen and the company's XDS-1000 display management system. The display wall allows users to visualize large amounts of high-resolution content, from up to 10 local or networked sources simultaneously; content is rendered on a widescreen, networked Windows desktop with Barco-patented software that lets the user control the system with mouse and keyboard. Booth C2830

SCP712 by 3MModular ‘Build What You Need' Projection System

Editor's Top PickWhen it comes to projectors, why pay for unused connectivity? In that vein, 3M has designed the SCP712 projection system modularly, enabling institutions to implement only the functionalities that best fit environment and budget needs. The base model SCP712 projector offers 3M Vikuiti Super Close Projection technology with VGA, USB, and power connectivity. If the projection environment requires full connectivity, schools can add an I/O (input/ output) Module and/or an Annotation Sensor Module that can turn a dryerase board into an interactive annotation system. Three wall-mount options offer additional modularity and ensure the SCP712 can be positioned to eliminate presenter shadows and move heat and fan noise out of the way. Booth N6102

Can You Hear Me Now?

In today's 21st century classrooms, flexibility is key—and that includes allowing instructors to walk freely around a lecture hall, while still being heard by students. The CRS-101 Infrared Wireless Microphone System from OWI is a slim, fully lockable, wall-mounted, infrared receiver/amplifier/ mixer that accepts three different line-level inputs and can simultaneously control two infrared wireless microphones (included with the system). The volume of each device in the system is adjustable by independent controls, to obtain the best audio effects for a specific room layout. The CRS-101 system comes complete with two OWI ceiling speakers; further sound customization can be achieved by adding two more optional OWI ceiling- or surface-mounted speakers. Booth C3061

P30S by ElmoDocument Camera With Full-Motion Video

Music professors at Stetson University (FL) have found a unique way to utilize document cameras in the classroom: presenting large drill charts to students studying marching band techniques. By displaying the material via document camera, an entire class can view the charts simultaneously, and see each movement as it relates to others. (See here.) And companies like Elmo have continued to bring document camera enhancements to the classroom: The new P30S from Elmo features 30 fps full-motion video and XGA/SXGA/720p HD-selectable output. An advanced progressive-scan camera system and 16x optical zoom capture fine details with clarity; a free-angle camera arm and lamp provide flexible, custom positioning and lighting; and a lightweight, compact design ensures portability and ease of handling. Booth C2921

Managing A/V Resources

Struggling to manage A/V equipment and room scheduling? Higher education institutions like Wheaton College (IL) have turned to vendors such as WebCheckout to handle complete inventory management of audiovisual assets, and to process equipment and room reservations, helping streamline operations and prevent double-booking (see "Precision Scheduling," CT May 2008). The WebCheckout browser-based application tracks both circulating and noncirculating resources from purchase to decommissioning, provides detailed reports, and integrates with a host of central administrative systems to easily plug into a school's IT environment. Booth C827

Smart Board 600i by Smart TechnologiesEnhanced Interactive Whiteboard System

Interactive whiteboards just got more affordable: Smart Technologies has announced the upgraded Smart Board 600i interactive whiteboard system, a second-generation product that combines the Smart Board 680 interactive whiteboard with the new Unifi 45 projector and costs 25 percent less than the company's original 600i system. The Unifi 45 DLP filterless projector features XGA resolution and a brighter display (2,000 lumens), as well as a collapsible boom that protects the system from deliberate damage or misuse. A control panel below the interactive whiteboard allows instructors to turn the entire system on or off with one button, and users can easily connect computers or switch between peripherals such as MP3 players, document cameras, or DVD players. Booth N5817, N7713

Projectors, Projectors Everywhere

PowerLite by EpsonPowerful audio. Optimized for education environments, the Epson PowerLite 83+ and 822+ 3LCD projectors feature 2,200 and 2,600 lumens, respectively; XGA resolution; a built-in closed-captioning decoder; and wired LAN connectivity for monitoring and control. An internal 10- watt speaker accommodates the demanding audio needs of a noisy classroom. The five-second Instant On and Instant Off functions help avoid delays when starting and finishing lectures, and seven special color modes (such as blackboard mode) enable presenting in a variety of environments. Booth N6029

SP831 DLP by BenQHigh brightness-with the lights on. BenQ's recently released SP870 and SP831 (pictured) DLP projectors combine high lumen count (5,000 lumens for the SP870 and 4,000 for the SP831) with a 2,000:1 contrast ratio, which means the devices can render fine details even in lights-on settings. A password function and panel keypad lock provide security, plus auto-off and a filter-free design reduce power consumption and costs associated with filter replacement and cleaning. Booth C3148

CPX3 3LCD by HitachiShort-throw goes wide. Hitachi's CPX3 3LCD projector is designed for widescreenformat laptops and imaging applications that use the 16:10 aspect ratio. A wide-angle lens means the CPX3 can project a 60-inch image from a distance of 75 inches. The projector features an HDMI terminal (allowing digital signals from DVD players and HD devices to be transmitted digitally), WXGA resolution, and 2,000 lumens of brightness. It weighs just 3.9 pounds. Booth C914

XD 53OU DLP by MitsubishiCutting the wires. The new wireless XD 530U DLP projector from Mitsubishi allows users to set up the device and send video and audio quickly and easily, with no cables to carry or attach. Three thousand ANSI lumens provide brilliant images even in bright rooms. The filter-free projector has a center lens design and convenient top-loading lamp, simplifying installation and lamp replacement. Booth C3103

VPL-EW5 3LCD by SonyCompact, hi-def widescreen. The new VPL-EW5 3LCD projector from Sony is the company's first compact widescreen model, suited for use in classrooms and conference rooms. Featuring WXGA resolution and 2,000 lumens of brightness, the VPL-EW5 has a variety of interfaces, including monitor output, audio output, and RS-232C control. The projector accepts standard- and high-definition video input signals, including composite, S-Video, analog RGB/component, and HDMI. Booth C1500, C2983

Novara by AMXClassroom Control: Keeping It Simple

Faculty who have been flummoxed by complex classroom control systems now can breathe a sigh of relief, thanks to AMX's new Novara product line: all-in-one, configurable control pad systems that combine a user interface with device control in one flush-mounted keypad. Designed to simplify the way people interact with A/V equipment in single-room environments, the Novara 1000 Series is available with eight or 16 buttons and provides control of devices via: one RS-232 port (to control a projector, plasma screen, etc.), one IR port (to control a DVD player, VCR, etc.), two output ports (to drive relay devices), and one input port (to detect input or logic-level control). The Novara 2000 Series comes with four, six, eight, 16, or 24 buttons and features two RS-232 ports, two IR or serial ports, two output ports, and one input port. The control pads are available in white, black, or brushed aluminum; have blue, backlit buttons with programmable feedback for intuitive operation; and each ships with 50 button-label inserts to ensure fast and easy installation. Booth C2902

M1500-UPS-PFP by Furman SoundKeeping the Power On

Data loss from life's power calamities (whether they be the result of blown transformers or full-on natural disasters) may be the most common form of IT disaster any campus can face (see "It's All About Power," CT May 2008). New for InfoComm, Furman Sound's M1500-UPS-PFP programmable uninterruptible power supply (UPS) maintains power temporarily during short blackouts or brownouts, to prevent lengthy restart sequences. The M1500 protects equipment by allowing devices to safely shut down during extended blackouts (enabling, for example, ceiling projectors to cool their lamps properly before shutting down, to prevent damage from excessive heat). In addition, voltage regulation prevents equipment lock-ups due to power sags, and keeps machines from heating up. An RS-232 interface provides both programming control and an interface for automation systems and personal computers. Booth C3483

Revamped Lecture Capture

According to a recent poll, 43 percent of responding site visitors reported that up to 25 percent of their campus classrooms are equipped for audio and video capture. We're willing to wager that number will continue to grow as class capture vendors fine-tune their products. Sonic Foundry has announced Mediasite 5.0, its next-gen rich-media communication and management platform for higher education. The product's latest improvements are designed to enhance content playback and strengthen faculty and administration's management of recorded content. New features include the ability to forward content or content clips to other authorized users as they are viewing a presentation; an updated Mediasite Catalog providing immediate online access to recorded presentations; revamped tracking and reporting capabilities to monitor who has watched what, when, and for how long; the ability to pause (and resume) recording of both live and on-demand presentations; and an enhanced Mediasite Editor that allows users to cut video from anywhere within a presentation. Booth N5560

Kestrel by Elite ScreensPortable Electric Screen

Campus technologists know that flexibility is an important part of classroom design, from mobile A/V carts right down to the rollers on chairs and tables. Elite Screens has unveiled the Kestrel projection screen, a mobile electric floor-rising screen that provides a flexible alternative to fixed-wall or ceiling-mounted installations. The Kestrel can be sized at 84 or 100 inches diagonally for either 4:3 or 16:9 (widescreen) aspect ratios, and is available in Elite's MaxWhite FG fiberglass-backed or tension-tabreinforced CineWhite materials, both of which provide a flat, easily visible surface. The screen's mechanized cross-rising apparatus is driven by a tubular motor with several height settings to accommodate various presentation environments. A built-in 5-12V trigger provides drop/rise synchronization with a projector's power cycle. Booth C4349

Reuse, Recycle, Resell

Editor's Top PickIn July 2006, Campus Technology reported on laptop refresh programs at colleges and universities all over the US (see "How Refreshing!" CT July 2006). Such efforts establish a strategy to rotate the latest laptop products into the campus technology portfolio, ensuring that schools stay up-todate and maintain a competitive edge. The same goes for A/V equipment: Higher education institutions often find themselves replacing outdated projectors, perhaps as part of an IT standardization initiative, or simply to keep up with cutting-edge tech advancements. But what to do with all those old machines? AVForSale can provide an additional revenue stream for schools burdened with having to dispose of excess and dated audiovisual equipment. The company specializes in buying and selling everything from projectors and monitors to wireless microphones and digital A/V mixers. AVForSale takes care of warehousing, marketing, cleaning, testing, and shipping all equipment. Booth C4510

Programmable Public Display

Ideal for large classrooms or campus common areas, the 60PC1DC 60-inch HD commercial plasma television from LG Electronics features a 7,000:1 contrast ratio and widescreen format. With the 60PC1DC's Public Display Settings, the TV can easily be programmed to turn on at a specified channel/volume level, set the minimum/maximum volume, lock out the control panel/remote, set the aspect ratio, and return to a factory reset when used in public areas. The Power Management function allows the display to be programmed to turn off if there has been no remote or control-panel button activity for a preset time, conserving power consumption. Booth N5941

What’s Your (Digital) Sign?

AxisTV by VisixFully embedded digital signage media appliance. Schools like Creighton University (NE) have 86ed paper flyers, instead embracing digital signage as the best way to communicate news and information to students and other campus members (see "Signing Up," CT April 2007)-and vendors in the space continue to improve and expand their digital signage hardware and software options. Visix has announced the release of its first fully embedded Digital Media Appliance, capable of playing a variety of still, video, and audio formats, including video overlay from external sources. Additionally, the appliance can support external database sources delivered in RSS and XML formats. Content is managed via Visix's AxisTV digital signage software application. Booth C2101

Moxie by OmnivexEnhanced graphics. Omnivex has introduced Moxie, a new digital signage platform based on the latest technologies from Microsoft. The patentpending system will enable content developers and network operators to take advantage of the latest advances in Windows graphics capabilities and network management, and tie content directly to real-time information. Moxie offers fully scalable graphics, so that one design fits many different screen resolutions, eliminating the need to create graphics for optimization on different displays. Booth N7125

Protecting high-tech signage. As higher ed institutions invest in digital signage for emergency notification as well as to publicize campus news and events, they must also consider how to protect that investment from environmental elements and vandalism. Custom Display Solutions comes to the rescue with its new product line of DisplayShield Environmental Monitor Enclosures. Designed for wall, pole, floor, or ceiling mounts in public areas, the product comes in a variety of colors and sizes, for any make/model of LCD or plasma flat panel. The Anti-Graffiti Coat external treatment provides protection against both graffiti and flyposter attacks. Booth N6549

Transforming Learning Spaces

Institutions like San Jose State University (CA) have turned to Tidebreak's TeamSpot solution to foster team collaboration in informal learning spaces, and with impressive results: Last year SJSU received a Campus Technology Innovator award for its use of TeamSpot, among other technologies, in its high-tech Incubator Classroom. Built on the same technology infrastructure as TeamSpot, Tidebreak's ClassSpot enables dynamic formal learning spaces, making it easy for students to share digital content across devices in the classroom. The solution enables faculty or students to temporarily take control of "public" screens at the front of a classroom, by moving the laptop cursor off the edge of the computer desktop and then "jumping" it onto the public screen. Users can move files or URLs to any public screen with a simple drag-and-drop gesture. ClassSpot automatically stores an archive record of any digital information students or faculty share, which anyone can access during class, or copy to review later. Booth C3186

TechPod Presenter by Tecom ElectronicsCompact A/V Lectern

A compact lectern that's not short on features, Tecom Electronics' new TechPod Presenter boasts a standard-issue high-end computer, DVD player, 19- to 21-inch interactive screen (allowing for annotation directly onscreen), microphone, audio system controls, laptop docking port, USB connections, and an optional, aesthetically pleasing wood cover. The TechPod Presenter comes equipped with electronically controlled hydraulic lifts for height adjustment, and interfaces easily with any projector system. Booth C2734

Digital Presenter With Onboard Computer

Could this be coming to an incubator classroom near you? (Read more about technology incubators in "Incubating Next-Gen.Edu".) Samsung Opto-Electronics is debuting the UF-130 Presentation Station, a digital presenter with an onboard computer, complete with the Windows CE operating system and web browsing through Internet Explorer. A Power LED lamp system provides bright, even lighting without glare or reflections, and a Smart Overlay function allows picture-in-picture viewing. The UF-130 is networkable (via Ethernet 10/100) and features a 42x zoom lens, selectable resolutions of SXGA/XGA/720p HD at 30 fps, and Remote Desktop Control, which permits users to access a remote PC via the campus network. Booth C2417

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