At the FETC trade show in Texas, Epson showcased two new classroom projector solutions—the BrightLink 436Wi, a fully integrated, portable short-throw interactive projector, and the PowerLite 935W, an ultra-bright projector for large classrooms and naturally bright rooms.
-BrightLink 436Wi ($1,250): The BrightLink 436Wi is the first interactive, short-throw Epson projector that can be moved from room to room. Offering advanced connectivity options and dual pen support, the BrightLink can project onto any existing whiteboard, wall or other smooth, light-colored hard surface. The 436Wi also boasts 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, document cameras, Blu-ray players, VCRs and more.
-PowerLite 935W ($1,199): Designed for large classrooms and naturally bright rooms, the PowerLite 935W delivers widescreen, ultra-bright images with WXGA resolution and 3,700 lumens, making it suitable for nearly any lighting condition. With a 16-watt speaker and microphone input to help engage the entire classroom, the projector also delivers comprehensive connectivity—HDMI for high-quality audio and video with one cable and RJ-45 for presenting content over the network, broadcasting important messages and monitoring and controlling a networked projector remotely.
BenQ America Corp. has also made major ed tech announcements. Its latest additions to its PointDraw line of short-throw projectors are the MW821ST and MX822ST. Supporting BenQ's third-generation PointDraw interactive projection technology, the projectors facilitate a more immersive experience in classrooms and boardrooms by enabling integration of iPad and Android tablets, and greater interaction with new PointDraw Pen 3.0, according to the company.
BenQ's third-generation PointDraw technology includes the new PointDraw Pen 3.0 to create more engaging presentations. Now with improved pointer accuracy and decreased lag, the optional PointDraw pen enables teachers and presenters to write on any projection surface whenever enhanced interactivity is required. The QDraw3 app is available for download from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store and can be used via wireless connection with iPad and Android devices. The interactive software is also compatible with Mac and Linux operating systems in addition to offering tile-friendly Windows 8 compatibility, and can be downloaded from the benq.us website. A license key is included in the PointDraw pen package, which is available for purchase separately.
"By enabling tablet integration, our new short-throw projectors equipped with third-generation PointDraw technology are completely redefining any collaborative setting for more enriching experiences," said Mitch Rauch, associate vice president at BenQ America Corp. "Furthermore, their simplicity eliminates any learning curve for teachers when incorporating these powerful tools into the classroom, while LAN control makes it easy for IT managers to maintain facility-wide installations; for school administrators, all of these benefits can be realized at a lower total cost of ownership."
To further enhance the teaching and collaborative experience, BenQ's optional QDraw3 software offers two different modes: Desktop and Presenter. In Desktop mode, users can present and make notes using any teaching or presentation materials. In Presenter mode, the QDraw3 app allows users to access presentation materials and add notes from anywhere in the room. Participants can also connect via their personal tablets, giving new meaning to the term "Bring Your Own Device" (BYOD). For the ultimate collaboration, the interactive software can be upgraded to enable up to 40 users to connect via the QDraw3 app, allowing screen and content sharing between every person in the room.
Both the MW821ST and MX822ST projectors can create visual arrangements to suit the context of any presentation. With a high WXGA resolution and superior contrast ratio of 13000:1, the MW821ST gives audiences crisp, clear images while the brightness of 3000 ANSI lumens eliminates the need to close the curtains or turn off the lights. With its XGA native resolution, 3500 ANSI lumens, and a short throw ratio of 0.61, the MX822ST further pushes performance by allowing for PC-less presentations using plug and play USB display. Both projectors also use HDMI connectivity, which enables teachers to integrate razor-sharp 3D content from Blu-ray players or PCs to their lesson plans easily.
To reduce power consumption, the MW821ST and MX822ST use BenQ's SmartEco technology, which increases lamp life up to 6,500 and 3,500 hours respectively. By automatically adjusting lamp power, the projectors detect and use only the amount of light that is needed. An "Eco Blank" mode will further reduce power consumption to 30 percent and a "no source detected" mode automatically lowers brightness to 30 percent when no display has been detected for more than three minutes.
For IT managers, LAN maintenance is simple thanks to support for Crestron, SNMP, PJLink, and AMX systems, allowing for remote management and control, and projector maintenance from workstations.