Presentation technology : Get smart

When it comes to office technology, businesses would be foolish to think they can rest on their laurels. The only constant in the field of presentation products is that there is always new technology available or in the pipeline.
While striving to have competitive edge over other businesses is an obvious driving factor to keep up to date, companies are also seeing benefits in terms of cost cutting, and engaging clients and staff.
Dave Gee, Canon’s manager – visual communications, says executives are continuing to see the benefits of up-to-date technologies – “effective presentation means less time revisiting the same topic which saves costs to the company”.
Canon is the largest reseller of Cisco telepresence technology in New Zealand, says Gee, and companies are using the latest technologies to deliver presentations as well as streaming presentations live on demand and storing them for people unable to be present.
One such product released through Canon is the Codec C60. The 1080p HD video collaboration engine is based on similar Codec designs and delivers full HD video, HD collaboration and superior audio.
The C60 was designed with the integrator in mind, giving users the ability to connect up to four HD video sources and four microphones. Ideal for team-based collaboration, boardrooms, meeting rooms or special industry projects, the C60 is sold in an integrator package or in profile.
“These products give presenters the ability to create truly interactive environment encouraging the audience to participate and allow presenters to illustrate information visually in much more interactive way,” says Gee.
Panasonic’s KX-VC500 is ideal for video conferencing for companies with staff in remote locations. The visual communication system offers high-quality sound, visuals, strong connection and easy-to-use programmes. It offers content sharing and the option of close-up views with sub camera.
The advances seen in range of projectors available continue to stretch further away from the loud oversize machines they once were.
Projectors are continuing to get smaller, brighter and while more complex, they are very simple to use. The portable aspect of projectors now sees them small enough to fit in notebook computer bag, while the need for wires is no longer an issue.
Epson has recently released the thinnest 3000 lumen 3LCD projector on the market, which stands just 25mm high. Nika Maltseva, marketing manager at Epson, says the need for brighter, smaller and better resolution projectors sees its Epson EB-1700 series leading the way.
“Brighter projectors allow you to run your presentation in room with lots of ambient light. The small size makes it flexible and portable solution while better wide screen resolution will assist with projecting detailed images from your laptop [WXGA resolution],” says Maltseva.
The range of projectors is user friendly, with automatic vertical keystone correction, auto detection of RGB/component connections and projection in native WXGA widescreen format, allowing presentation designed on laptop to display in full size without the edges missing.
The EB-1700 range eliminates the often unprofessional and complicated problem of multiple cables with an 802.11b/g/n wireless network and the ultra-short throw designs can be mounted within 60 centimetres of the wall and therefore reduce eye glare and shadows.
The series conforms to the European Directive on Eco-Design, which is aimed at improving the environmental performance of energy-related products.
Panasonic’s latest range of business projectors also comes fitted with the latest technologies. Boasting dual 355 watt lamp it is capable of producing 10,600 lumens of brightness. New dynamic iris technology does not affect this brightness despite offering scene-linking aperture mechanism to achieve an impressive 10,000:1 contrast.
The projector has an auto cleaning filter and network function which allows users to control and monitor multiple projectors at the same time over wired LAN.
As technology interactive whiteboards have been around since the early 1990s. Now they combine your computer, projector and whiteboard for truly interactive working, training or learning environment.
Again they are now designed with ease of use as key marketable point, so the ability to use both pens and fingertips is must. Users have the ability to create screen shot of board work, and many products collaborate with programs that allow them to edit and save their work for later distribution.The two versions widely available are the interactive boards and the boards for flat panel display – an overlay that attaches to plasma display or LCD panel.
The SMART board 680, released through Canon, has kept the classic whiteboard design but touts some of the latest developments in related technology. Without having to use buttons or on-screen menus users can write with pen, erase with their hand and move images with fingertip. They are able to write with either the digital ink pens or fingers.
The Panaboards from Panasonic are similar product offering both colour and black and white versions. The Slim Design Standard Panaboard has an endless screen design, simple data display and editing functions, long-term storage and thermal paper output to help with cost cutting.
Presentation technology is trending towards interactive, cost-saving, high-quality solutions that are unobtrusive and flexible.
Value for money will be found in good quality office presentation equipment with staff increasing their use for both internal and external presentations, and enabling productivity with no time lost travelling to meetings. M

Libby Gudmundsson is an Auckland-based journalist.

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