Tag Archives: touch screens

Tablet popularity continues to grow in UK

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According to a new report from eMarketer, a third of the British population now use a tablet at least once a month whether it’s their own, or shared by the family. It is predicted that by 2017 half of the population will be using a tablet regularly, due to a recent variety in prices. With the likes of Tesco’s small Hudl being far cheaper than current favourite iPad, it’s expected that Apple’s sales will drop in coming years.

The growing use of tablets in the education sector has had a real effect, with the under 12 audience rapidly growing and if these predictions are anything to go by, tablets will be a norm in every classroom. With this and the fact that several corporate companies are embracing the BYOD format, clients should be looking into future proofing their AV system. The majority of equipment on the market is now compatible with both Android and iOS devices and the applications are endless.

If you are interested using tablets for presentation, collaboration or control, please contact us and our consultants can arrange a free on site demo for your team.

The rise of tablets in education

It was obvious tablets were going to continue their popular demand in the education sector but for many it was a surprise just how quick the increase has occurred. The British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) have compiled some interesting facts regarding the needs and hopes for schools, so we put a few of the important stats into an infographic for you.

For more information on school technology please feel free to contact us. We have a wide client base in the education sector and some of work can be found on our Education page.

New touch screen technology thought to be more energy efficient

Touch screen experts Peratech have created a solution for touch screen applications that allows for a more energy efficient system. Due to the QTC Ultra Sensor being placed behind the screen, there is no loss of light from the display, meaning less battery is used.

This technology has been working best with OLED and e-paper type displays but can also be used on other products. LCD is not advised as they cannot really be pressed. Normally touch screen devices require a layer over the top of the display, which causes slight light loss, so having the technology behind the screen means brightness and quality in the image will not be lost.

QTC, which stands for Quantum Tunnelling Composite material, means the material changes its resistance when pressure is applied and only then. It means power is only used when the screen is touched, unlike previous technologies that need continual power for the active sensing matric. Apparently the QTC will also be a lot cheaper, due to limitless size opportunities regardless of the matrix interference and the company have already made examples that are 2m by 1m.

It will probably be a while until this concept is brought onto the high street, so if you have any queries or requirements involving touch screen now, please feel free to contact us.

 

Highlights from European Sign Expo 2013

vueintimannequinDespite so many experts fully believing that digital signage will soon overtake the print business, the European Sign Expo is tucked away into a small corner, whilst the rest of FESPA engrosses the London ExCel with monstrous looking printers and paper galore.

There were debates going on early in the day over at the Screenmedia Theatre regarding the battle between print and digital signage and either way the technology is consistently improving over in the European Sign Expo. With it being the first of its kind here in London, the expo is relatively full and both old and new exhibitors emerge from the stalls.

Amongst familiar faces including Brightsign and Innova, there were a few names that caught our eye when it came to fresh ideas. The virtual mannequin has been seen from several companies and is slowly becoming a more common sight in the likes of hospitals, attractions and retail. Although this is the first thing you notice at Vueinti’s stall it soon becomes apparent their innovation spreads much further. Their mannequin has some extended features, such as being muted until a movement sensor realises someone is close by. Although the stall was relatively bear, due to a last minute offer to exhibit, Vueinti were happy to showcase some other great products via iPad. Their Retail Brand Activation is likely to be a huge hit in retail as the display case senses when a product is picked up. This then triggers the digital signage screen above to display information about the product of interest and uses LED lighting to spotlight the item on the shelf. The display also incorporates analytical software so that gender and age can be picked up for market research. This concept has also been attached to their mannequins, meaning the virtual informer is only activated when a product is picked up.

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Airgoo were another name that caught our attention due to the size of their latest signage player. With a MicroPlayer the size of a USB memory stick, this cost effective solution uses WiFi and 3G to display ready to upload content. Even if your internet connection it lost, the content will continue looping until you retrieve signal, so your screen will never freeze or turn off. Unlike other brands, Airgoo’s player can transform any brand of television into a digital signage display as long as it has a HDMI port. The CMS (Content Management System) is web based and although this helps with scheduling and grouping screens, it does not offer a way of creating the content, meaning you either send over the content from your previous software via RSS, or use outsourced designers.airgoo

As you can see, many of the eye catching technologies appeal more to a retail sector and although Pyramid’s Polytouch screens on show may appear that way as well, you soon realise the possibilities are pretty vast. With a quick mounting system to upgrade when necessary, the platform also integrates a chip and PIN device, barcode scanner and even a camera to interact further. The obvious applications of self service and product information for retail may be the first concept that springs to mind, but Polytouch has been applied successfully for banking, events and hospitality as well.

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Digital signage is continuing to grow and can be applied to any business. If you don’t want to get left behind, why not contact us for a free of charge health check, where we can recommend the best solution for you?

InfoComm 2013 round up

infocommshowUnfortunately Paragon was unable to jet over to Florida for the week but InfoComm 2013 was still filled to the brim for its largest show ever, with over 35,000 through the doors.  Although many of our better known brands such as Vivitek, Draper and NEC were in attendance, it was newer products that caught our eye in the various launches shared.

One press preview that stood out was over on the DLP stand, where a hybrid technology consisting of a short throw projector and a multi-touch display prototype created a fully interactive screen on any surface. The 3,000 lumen projector uses sensor technology to connect the two together however there was no implication of market possibilities anytime soon.

Black Box’s digital signage players aren’t products we had personally heard of before but perhaps this is because their Q series stands for “quiet”. The fanless media players used a finned design instead, including a heat sink to avoid overheating without the noise.

4K still seems to be one of the main buzzwords for 2013 and while many are still getting to grips with the concept, Planar Inc. have taken their LCD product line a step further with multi-touch and multi-user capabilities. Being one of the first of its kind to combine collaboration with the ultra-high resolution, the image clarity and multiple touch points create an ideal solution for way-finding, product catalogues and interactive digital signage.

If you are interested in 4K, interactive touch screens or any other new products on our Tech Zone, please feel free to contact us.

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NEC Showcase 2013

IMAG0455As if the Tobacco Dock in London was not enough in respects of a great venue, the content displayed within its old fashioned frame makes for an enlightening day, in which the power of audio-visual proves it’s stronger than ever. The NEC Showcase’s fifth year of collaborating with other big manufacturers sees a serious upgrade in the retail and education sectors; however the event covers every angle including corporate, transport, media, leisure, healthcare and control. Each room had live demonstrations of new innovations so that you could experience the technology hands on, with visitors from round the world receiving live tours around the vast displays. From the word go you enter the electronic world, with a immersive tunnel that uses rear projection to create an engaging walkway.IMAG0456

Amongst all of this, there was also conferences and seminars as well as a dance troupe who were demonstrating a 4K workflow and were being filmed for playback on a 4K videowall and other 4K technology including a laser projector and using a 5K camera. 4K was seen elsewhere in the venue including NEC’s new 4K laser projector and a UHD 4K videowall. 3D had its own area, which proves this technology will continue to evolve, however it was kept purely for leisurely activities at this event.

The education room concentrated on collaborative learning including DisplayNote software, which we have touched on previously here. Digital signage within the schools and universities were pushed with AMX’s latest control panel proving anyone can keep the system up to date (blog coming soon).

The retail section was probably the most popular, due to so many interactive displays that brought to life many concepts we have been hearing so much about, yet haven’t tried out for ourselves. This included large touch screen menus, virtual changing rooms and audience analytics (blogs to come soon).

Congratulations to NEC on the event and make sure to keep an eye out for more in depth product spotlights coming soon on the Tech Zone.

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Clevertouch demos available at Paragon

Here at Paragon, we’re aware that not everyone can get out to see the latest products at exhibitions at training days. With this in mind we are offering a free demonstration day at our offices for local schools and business to check out the latest Clevertouch. The interactive LCD touch screen features a multi-touch of over 30 points and can be adjusted from board to table form.

We are offering local establishments a free of charge in-house demonstration with one of our expert consultants to give you a one on one feel for the board and see the advantages it could bring to an educational or corporate environment.

We currently have these times available so feel free to call us to book an appointment. One of our team can come and collect you if necessary.

Monday 20th May – 3.30pm onwards

Tuesday 21st May – All day

Wednesday 22nd May – 12.30pm onwards

Contact us by phone on 0845 2261675 or email via marketing@paragonmultimedia.com

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Google Glass development adds laser projector

googleglassbrin_large_verge_medium_landscapeWith what is probably the most anticipated gadget of the century, Google has added yet another feature to the technological attire that is likely to push it even further. A lightweight, monochrome laser projector has been mounted on one side of the glasses and a camera on the other, to create a projection that can be beamed onto any surface, including the user’s palm.

Its touch capabilities mean you can transform your hand or another surface, into a keyboard or controls for a game you’re playing on the Google device. With some similarities to the Microsoft Kinect game, the further developments to this technology mean  that despite head or hand movements, whilst say walking, the interface will stay centred, creating a smooth journey.

 

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How the projector will work

Make pinching your touchscreen a reality

We’ve all gotten used to the idea of pinching, sliding and prodding our touchscreen devices but we’d never expect to actually pick up a piece of the action. MIT’s Media Lab has created the option with an elasticated touchscreen that lets you experience “2.5D”, a dimension that has not been mentioned in the technology world before. The prototype, which has been named Obake, looks to bring even more touch to the touchscreen — using actuators, depth cameras, a projector, and a silicone screen to make pinch-to-zoom and other gestures a 3D reality.

The silicon display is supposed to mimic the fluidity of water whilst still allowing the gestures to create geometric shapes. Due to the large set up needed to create this dimension, it’s unlikely we will see this on the next smart phone, but it is likely to become a create concept for 3D displays in tourist attractions and educational purposes.

Check out the video below to see the set up behind the magic and see the “screen” in action.

Paragon @ BETT 2012

When you first walk into the London Olympia Hall, being thrown leaflets and pens from every direction and walking passed stalls just to escape the bustle of the entrance, there is one thing that screams out to our marketing team. And that was that we wished we went to school now and not five or so years ago. Everything looks fun and exciting, an array of products are on display to make certain senses tingle and the strangest part is that it is all in the name of learning.

Despite the fact BETT’s trade show has been going for over 25 years, today is Paragon’s first time here and the fact that such a large venue is crammed with so much technology, solely for educational purposes, makes you wonder what sort of products were shown here in 1985. Nonetheless, the fact one gets lost around the National Hall proves the quantity of both hardware and software on offer in the industry now and particularly audio-visual.

Around 30,000 people will pass through the doors over the three days, from all over the world and Paragon bumped into many promising pieces of equipment that are bound to shine themselves into our classrooms very soon. With BETT covering technology that caters for all stages of education, small children run around playing with Smart boards or taking example classes with said equipment.

It appeared the most popular innovation was touch-sensitive screens of all sizes and proved Smart would have a lot more competition this year, despite leading the interactive whiteboard race previously. The Apple iPad may have doubled up as a geek’s girlfriend replacement back in 2010, but despite the attention over at the Apple stand, there are many Android-based tablets scattered around BETT, which lower in cost and just as durable.

Overall, it’s fair to say the innovation is never going to slow down, with promising manufacturers from around the world still fighting to get into the UK market. With that said, we have collected a small snippet of our new found favourite products in the AV industry.

For more on the products at BETT 2012, check out our Top 5 Audio-visual finds at BETT article.