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Revolutionary approach to projectors from Epson

Epson is hoping to appeal to non-technical users with a new range of business interactive projectors which it says make business meetings more interactive and spontaneous.

The interactive projector with a friendly name, MeetingMate means an end to the days of needing both a projector and a copyboard and turns almost any hard, flat surfaces including tables, into an interactive surface.

Simon Rogers, Epson National Sales Manager for projectors (AU) says the projectors can be used PC connected or, the ‘big breakthrough’, PC-free.

“You can drive data from the computer, but a lot of corporates want to be able to work differently. They may run a PowerPoint presentation in meetings, but more often they just want to be able to brainstorm on the spot and have an instant meeting,” he says.

“[Traditionally], there’s no way of capturing it [brainstorming notes] without switching the computer back on. Now, we’re removing the computer entirely.”

Rogers, who was in New Zealand recently to showcase a range of Epson projectors, says by switching MeetingMate to ‘whiteboard’ mode, users can immediately begin sharing and capturing their ideas.

The system can turn any surface into a 60-inch to 100-inch interactive screen, and allows annotation, capture and sharing of any projected image from a variety of input sources including computers, the office network, USB drives and mobile devices.

In PC mode, the projector can be used for multisite collaboration, with up to four groups able to connect via a network, and share and annotate the same content.

Multiple users can write on the ‘screen’ at once, and the notes can be saved, printed or shared via email. Rogers says the solution also has another advantage over other offerings – one button deleting all content on the board for those times when someone else is about to use the meeting room and you don’t want your commercial secrets revealed.

Unlike interactive whiteboards, where the control is in the board, all of the smarts for the interactive projectors are in the projectors themselves. Rogers says that removes the need for two devices – and the need for calibration to keep the projector and whiteboard in sync.

“We’re marketing this to users who do not even know they’re looking for technology. They just want to have efficient meetings,” Rogers says.

“We don’t want to intimidate them by calling it an interactive multifunction whiteboard projector, hence the name MeetingMate”.

Epson says there’s a cost advantage [VM1] too. Mike Conza, Epson Business Development Manager projectors (NZ) says the difference between a standard ultra-short throw projector and the entry level MeetingMate is $1100, at around $2599 and $3699 respectively.

Rogers says he’s been surprised how many schools have taken up the solution, which is targeted predominantly at the corporate market.

“But high schools and tertiary have some of the same needs as corporates and for teachers who don’t want to drive preplanned lessons, this works.”

For more information about the new MeetingMate projectors click here.