Story image

Project to interact

01 Jul 10

In the age of multimedia, when digital images and video content are used in communication, education and interaction with consumers and colleagues, manufacturers are constantly involved in the development and production of new and improved products to meet market demands.

Gone are the days when projectors were the size and weight of a boat anchor! And remember when they could only perform in the room with dimmed lights and drawn curtains? Not so any longer; the new trend in the projectors market is towards bright, portable and cost-effective solutions that can be used in any environment.

There is a good range of projectors on the market, which should suit the varying needs of your clients. For customers who demand a mobile and easyto- set-up projector for their presentations, which doesn’t have the hassle of connecting to a laptop or local network, the portable, bright colour output LCD or 3LCD projectors with wireless connectivity are the most appropriate (and cost-effective). When suggesting a projector for presentations to your clients, you should also keep in mind that most laptop screens (and therefore the content) are now being created for widescreen displays. So, projectors with wide WXGA resolution (1280x800 pixels) and 16:10 aspect ratio are leading the market for corporate portable projectors.

Another trend applicable to all markets, and especially popular in the education sector, is the popularity of short-throw and ultra short-throw projectors. The advantage of ‘short-throw’ technology is in the use of wideangle lenses which reduce the ‘throw distance’ (the distance required between a projector and the projected image) to 60cm for short-throw models or 13cm for ultra short-throw solutions, as opposed to the standard four metres. This helps to reduce any glare or shadow effects and avoid any chance of seeing the projector beam, which makes them the perfect for interactive white board solutions (IWB).

Anyone who has ever used IWB will tell you that this technology enriches presentations and improves the learning process. Anything you can do on a PC – run video, use the internet, select and move images and fi les, highlight and underline ideas – can be done on the white board, so it functions as a huge computer screen and mouse, livening up any presentation and capturing the attention of your audience.

The most recent developments in this area are in a low-cost alternative to the IWB for the corporate and education markets. This technology is built into one product – the interactive projector, which replaces the need for a PC, computer screen, mouse and whiteboard. The key element of this technology is an interactive pen. This means you can transform any surface into an interactive screen, adding a whole new dimension to your client’s presentations and lessons. The best way to sell new projector technology is to demonstrate it; it’s a no-brainer and will be an easy sale, once your clients see what they’ll get for the modest investment.

Despite the market fl uctuations, certain areas of the projector market continue to grow, opening opportunities for resellers to add value by meeting customer needs and offering suitable solutions and services. Projectors have always held good margins for resellers and this will continue, although the focus may shift to application-specifi c and function-rich models.