BETT 2015 will see an unparalleled choice of classroom solutions on show, and demand some deep thinking on the part of educationalists plotting their way forwards. The traditional divide between the industry leaders has been disrupted by new entrants, new technologies and even new paradigms in the move to personalised and collaborative learning. AV News looks at some of the contenders in the fight for the educational pound, and the response from the established players.
Last month, AV News explored some of the options available to those looking at new or replacement solutions for schools, colleges and universities. Essentially, the choice is to keep the faith with established providers, perhaps even replacing like with like, and building on the new infrastructure tools that they offer.
The second, and seemingly the most popular choice, is to match the personal devices in the hands of the students with IFPD (or IWB / interactive projector) hubs running collaborative software. The third, and arguably the most extreme option, is to dispense with the large format display at the front of the class completely- and just network the personal devices.
The latest statistical evidence (see the Futuresource figures in News) suggests that the IFPD is winning the large format display battle in the UK and that tablets are the preferred option among personal devices. The move to a collaborative approach in education, with its increased dependence on standardised industry devices and technologies, has opened the market to a host of new players.
Arguably, there has never been a better time to introduce new solutions to the market. Here is a selection of BETT launches.
BETT 2015 highlights
Amazing Interactives – 3D specialists
Amazing Interactives was set up to develop and supply next generation 3D software/hardware installations for the education, theatre, visitor attractions, and medical sectors. The Amazing Interactives’ team has now installed more 3D systems than any other company in the UK with over 400 systems in place. It continues to be a market leader specialising in 3D graphics and projection systems and has now taken on projects as far afield as Las Vegas, Majorca, Europe, India and Dubai.
Clevertouch: app-based learning with Clevertouch Plus
For the second year running Clevertouch are joining forces with DisplayNote at BETT to demonstrate the definitive collaboration experience. We will be showcasing the full range of screens (sizes 42-84”), including the revolutionary Clevertouch Plus with fully integrated Android operating system. Continuing to shape the way teachers and students interact, Clevertouch will be launching a whole new app-based way to learn – Cleverstore. Cleverstore is an exclusive app store only available on the Clevertouch Plus. Featuring a large number of free apps, educators will be able to download a specific app for a subject – this could be a Periodic Table or a Times Table game. Cleverstore brings the future of learning to the present.
Crestron: a lesson in wireless
Crestron will be exhibiting its new range of collaboration tools designed for schools and universities at this year’s BETT show. Wireless collaboration solutions will be a major focus of this year’s show. On the stand, Crestron will be showcasing AirMedia, its all-new wireless HD presentation solution for classrooms and small lecture theatres.
Featuring simple plug-and-play installation, AirMedia brings presentation, collaboration and content sharing capabilities to classrooms that aren’t wired for an AV system. AirMedia enables up to 32 people to connect to an existing display over Wi-Fi and wirelessly present HD content from their personal smart phone, tablet or laptop.
Now, with moderator mode, presenters and instructors can easily control the room and prevent ‘presentation chaos.’ Lecturers can simply select whose content to share – and whose content to not share – from the AirMedia web page or Crestron touch screen. In Quad View mode, up to four presenters’ content can be displayed simultaneously, making true collaboration possible. Each person simply pushes the ‘show me’ button to display content from his or her device.
Crestron’s new DMPS3-200-C and DMPS3-300-C all-in-one presentation system will also be on display. With a built-in Crestron 3-Series Control System, these next generation models deliver unprecedented HD performance and convenience in a network-grade appliance. The DMPS3-200-C and DMPS3-300-C can be configured right from the optional pre-loaded TSW-750 touch screen, or from an iPad or computer. Users can easily add wireless BYOD presentation capability by connecting a Crestron AirMedia™ device (AM-100) to the HDMI port.
Crestron FlipTops enable complete room control and media connectivity right from the lectern. Source connectivity for DigitalMedia applications, versatile touch screen and keypad control and power management enhance and simplify classroom technology, allowing instructors to focus on the presentation experience. FlipTop provides an ingenious, easy-to-install multimedia
EyeTeach – award winning teaching aid
EyeTeach, the exciting new audio and visual teaching aid, will be returning to the BETT, following its success in winning the 2013 Havering Business Awards Innovation category. EyeTeach deploys sophisticated education technology in the shape of Megapixel cameras and high-definition audio recording, which allow teachers to see themselves in the classroom environment and review both their own performance and that of their students.
Additional uses of eyeTeach include class presentations, one-to-one student reviews, use as a website resource and for in-house training purposes. Video can also be played back while the system is still recording, for example to speed up class explanations or show a student where they can improve – replaying an oral exam, for example.
iBoardTouch – new 98-inch IFPD on show
British interactive collaboration brand iBoardTouch has ramped up significantly in 2014, with new disti appointments (Ingram Micro, Beta and Square One) new offices in Leeds with demo facilities and new products which will be on show at BETT, ISE and GESS.
Making its worldwide debut is the 98-inch multi-touch display for the iBoardTouch range of 1080p LED and UHD (4K x 2K) interactive displays with 10-point touch, although the 98-inch is 4K. This ensures crisp, vibrant images, exceptional detail and clean, legible text across the entire screen – roughly equivalent to a 2×2 video wall, making it the world’s largest touch screen for educators. Motion and voice command options are now available for iBoardTouch range.
Zulfi Baig, International Operations Director at iBoardTouch says: “Our mission is to deliver the world’s most powerful interaction real time collaboration platform for our users and the most cost effective. We’ve invested significantly in our technology, over £1m in R&D a year – hardware and software – as well as ramping up support for our channel partners including demo facilities, lead generation programmes and marketing tools.”
Also on show is the DigiClass tablet, a 10-inch tablet preloaded with iBoardTouch’s own DigiClass digital classroom collaboration software, to connect the tablet to iBoardTouch; standalone DigiClass software to connect 40+ devices including iPads, Android tablets and Windows laptops; new IWBPro software to open native Smart and Promethean files and an upgrade to VCC, which integrates video conferencing and remote collaboration into the iBoardTouch and now has secure cloud storage so files can be shared anytime, anywhere.
Visitors to stand D84 will can attend a free ‘Collaborating in the Digital Classroom’ seminar throughout the four days of the show, and get the chance to win a £350 DigiClass tablet, on the hour, every hour of the show.
INTECH – ceaseless innovation
INTECH is a leading interactive whiteboard manufacturer in China – a fiercely competitive market where continuous innovation is essential for survival. Capacitive Technology is INTECH’s specialisation and the company says is the most advanced technology in the IWB sector at present. It is said to be superior to other traditional IWB technologies and will become the future trend because capacitive technology is used in the iPhone/iPad and other latest generation touch screens.
Interactive Education shows new training solutions
As digital technologies continue to change there is a greater demand for training and workforce development. Alongside its established classroom technology solutions, Interactive Education will show products from its corporate arm, Interactive Corporate Solutions. The new division provide a suite of professional AV products that will transform business presentations, conferences and training.
Interactive Corporate Solutions, continuously research new technologies, in order to provide solutions that will enhance learning and training and bring interactivity to the corporate boardroom. With over fifteen year’s experience, the company’s innovative ICT solutions integrate collaborative multi touch Genee Spark software with G-Touch LED interactive touch screen.
Bespoke digital solutions are said to seamlessly integrate into meeting rooms, training arena’s and reception areas. Digital technologies are constantly changing, and interoperability is essential in the workplace. Interactive Corporate Solutions provide a unique solution called the Genee Sync which allows you to sync files and documents, images and videos between devices.
The Genee Sync creates its own wireless hub, and connects up to 64 devices; iPads, iPhones, Android Tablets, Android Phones, Windows, Chromebook, PC or MAC. Information is easily shared between the different devices and operating systems and encourages the users to work together, creating a collaborative working environment.
Joskos – interactive display solutions in the classroom
Interactive displays will be the focus for many visitors to BETT 2015. As mobile devices continue to make inroads into the classroom, educationalists continue to search for optimal ways to synchronise teaching and learning across all the devices the classroom. The audio-visual equipment – particularly the interactive display – is an important part of this picture. But with a wide range of interactive display technologies and vendors in the marketplace, it is not always easy for schools to know which route to choose. Over the past 15 years Joskos has been giving schools vendor-neutral advice about which AV products are most suited to their budgets and needs.
KYOCERA Document Solutions – 2D and 3D
KYOCERA has worked with UK schools, colleges and universities for over 25 years to deliver best value document solutions which are robust enough to work in the education environment and help lower their carbon footprint. KYOCERA’s education experts will be demonstrating the latest products from its suite of application software, powered by HyPAS, which include the award winning, Teaching Assistant. Additionally they will be discussing new in-demand technologies such as 3D Printing, as well as showcasing solutions for the education sector including PaperCut, SIMS Connector and BioStore.
LearnPad – bigger and better than ever!
BETT will mark the launch of a number of new and engaging LearnPad products that support and enhance technology within the classroom. Nik Tuson, founder and COO at LearnPad, comments: “We’re very excited to launch a number of new innovative products lines to the market that will not only support our existing devices and solutions, but also address a number of practical issues of technology integration within the classroom.”
To support its award-winning devices and classroom tools, LearnPad has also been busy collating resources for the new 2014 Curriculum. Understanding the pressure of a new Curriculum implementation, LearnPad has been busy creating over 100 targeted lesson profiles, making over 10,000 resources available to its user schools.
Lightspeed Technologies – classroom audio
Lightspeed Technologies will introduce a new line of classroom audio solutions, featuring Access Technology, and designed for the full-access, collaborative classroom. The new classroom audio platform ensures clear, dynamic communication among teachers and students, with easy connectivity to multimedia throughout the primary and secondary classrooms.
Lightspeed’s new classroom audio solutions conquer distance and noise, deliver speech clarity to the whole class and provide two-way communications between teachers and students. Access Technology scales to learning spaces, instruction and technology. “As new instructional methods change the ways teachers and students use the classroom, Access Technology audio systems have the flexibility to interact with the entire class, small groups, individuals, and even students in the hallway.”
Magic Whiteboard – instant interactivity
The A0 MEGA Magic Whiteboard is a whiteboard on a roll. Each sheet is A0 (twice the size of A1). The company says this is the quickest and easiest whiteboard to fit, with no screws required. Simply tear of a sheet and place on any flat surface (wall, window or door). Alternatively, cover a whole wall in whiteboard wallpaper, to use as a projector screen to recover old and scruffy whiteboards or use as an instant 1200 X 900 whiteboard.
Promethean shows classroom collaboration
Promethean will be using BETT 2015 as the platform from which to give UK teachers the opportunity to experience the ActivClassroom, powered by ClassFlow. During the four day event, ClassFlow – the all-in-one teaching platform for synchronising classroom devices and orchestrating lessons across a connected classroom – will be used to connect the latest ActivClassroom solutions.
On Stand B87, visitors will be able to learn more about Promethean’s extended range of ActivPanel Touch solutions, which will include additional sizes of 55” and 84”; as well as the latest version of the ActivBoard Touch. These solutions provide an interactive front of class experience and facilitate small group collaboration whilst enhancing the overall learning experience.
Commenting on Promethean at Bett 2015, Ian Curtis, Head of Western Europe, Africa & ANZ, said: “At last year’s event ClassFlow attracted extremely high levels of attention, with visitors able to see live lessons taking place on-stand with the Ron Clark Academy. This year, we are taking this experience much further by allowing visitors to actually participate in a ClassFlow lesson within the Bett Arena. “With ClassFlow due for official UK launch before the end of the year, it’s important that we make the ‘hands-on’ opportunities as accessible as possible – and what better place to do this than at Bett?!”
* UPDATE: Promethean has, for the second year running, been shortlisted in three categories of the highly respected Bett Awards. Following the first round of judging, Promethean has been confirmed as a finalist in the following categories: ICT Company of the Year (over £10m turnover);ICT Exporter of the Year; Free Digital Content. Ian Curtis, Head of Western Europe, Africa and ANZ, comments: “Bett is the major event in our annual events calendar and the Bett Awards continue to be a benchmark of excellence in education technology. To be shortlisted in one category would have been great – but to be a finalist in all of the three main awards we entered is very humbling.”
SET as a boxout:
SMART Technologies – no more IWBs at BETT
“There will be no IWBs on the SMART stand at BETT. The future is all about panels,” said David Lapides, SMART’s Director of Software and Channels, in a pre-show interview with AV News. To underline the point, SMART will show two new IFPDs to accompany the existing SMART Board 6065 – a finalist for a BETT 2015 Award. Lapides is confident that visitors will appreciate the advantages that SMART’s proprietary technology offers over standard industry technologies when used with SMART’s software suite.
In addition, and for the first time in the UK, BETT attendees will be able to see the new SMART kapp digital capture board. SMART kapp is a replacement for the dry-erase board and flip chart. Imagine you are in a meeting with colleagues in several locations. You walk up to a normal whiteboard. Pick up a pen and start writing – and then the writing appears on your mobile device. All remote participants see the content as it unfolds. The handwriting can be converted to text on the mobile device.
For a lot of visitors, BETT 2015 will be their first opportunity to see SMART innovative SMART kapp digital capture board.
*UPDATE: SMART Technologies has announced SMART Notebook Maestro software, the latest addition to the SMART Notebook Software platform. It allows teachers to remotely control and interact with SMART Notebook collaborative learning software on any interactive display using an iPad equipped with the SMART Notebook iPad app.
The app and the SMART Notebook Maestro add-on quickly and easily connect to the desktop version of SMART Notebook via Wi-Fi so teachers can change Notebook pages and add and manipulate objects while moving about the classroom, without disrupting the flow of the lesson.
TTS – see the Blue-Bot and Blue-Bot app
TTS has 30 years’ experience of supplying high quality inspirational educational resources to schools and parents across the UK and worldwide. TTS will be launching a range of new products at BETT this year, two of these being the Blue-Bot and Blue-Bot app. Blue-Bot is a Bluetooth enabled floor robot which means you can control it with your tablet or PC. You can plan your algorithm on the screen of your device and send it remotely for Blue-Bot to perform right in front of you! Blue-Bot has a clear shell which means children can see the components inside and identify what gives Blue-Bot its buzz. Blue-Bot is rechargeable and fits on the standard Bee-Bot Docking Stations.
Vestel broadens its market
Vestel has extensive experience in its native Turkey and many other territories, and is now making inroads into Western Europe. Vestel professional displays are used in a variety of business sectors including education. At BETT, the company will be showcasing its interactive flat panel display, classroom booking system, digital signage solutions, tablet PCs, and LED Lighting.
Compact and space-saving, Vestel’s LED screen comes equipped with built-in PC functionality, eliminating the need for several parts and cables as well as the extra space required for the PC. Available in 65” and 80” screens, the model offers Full HD resolution as well as a 178° viewing angle to ensure an optimum viewer experience from any seat in the classroom. This integrated PC module is compatible with Intel OPS, which can easily be plugged into the back of the screen.
Also on show, Vestel Android Signage Monitor is an innovative model that integrates an Android operating system into its digital signage monitor. Offering a wireless connection, this special product supports LAN, Wi-Fi and 3G, allowing operators and system integrators access to multiple Android signage applications. Available in 32”, 40”, 50” and 65” screen versions, the Vestel Android Signage Monitor provides flash and an HDD option for the system memory, as well as the possibility of an additional SD card to increase its memory capacity.
Vestel’s latest digital signage monitor is available in 40”, 50” and 65” screen sizes. Powered by Intel core i3 processor, this digital signage offers a smart design and a stylish display, coming equipped with a back-lit LED screen to enhance the picture quality as well as to increase the depth and range of the colour gradients on offer. The new model can display full HD signage content and is designed to offer smoother playback thanks to its high refresh rate. Providing an ideal viewer experience from any angle, the model’s advanced panel technology ensures a viewing range of up to 178°.
For flipped learning models, Vestel is one of a comparatively small number of suppliers to offer its own tablet PC. Tablet PC. Vestel Google licensed tablets are available in 7”, 8” and 10.1” versions. Offering easy access to a vast range of entertainment options, Vestel tablets can be used to watch movies, surf the web and check emails. They also offer access to thousands of Android apps via Google Playstore. Equipped with enhanced connections, such as HDMI, micro SD and USB portals, the tablets ensure that content can be transferred to other devices via Bluetooth.
SET as a boxout:
Vivitek to show 4 finger-touch interactive projector
On Stand SN17, Vivitek will launch an innovative new education projector, the Vivitek DH758USTIR. Vivitek is first to market the 4 finger-touch technology in this category. The DH758USTIR HD projector, with its ultra-short throw lens is designed for installation against the wall with just a short space to the screen, making it ideal for installation in any type of classroom or education environment.
The projector is capable of projecting a 100” image from an ultra-short distance which avoids having shadow on the screen from presenters or writers on the whiteboard. With the complimentary Interactive Whiteboard software, multiple students can work simultaneously on an assignment on the whiteboard and screenshots can be captured and retrieved again.
With the addition of a Laser Finger Touch module, the DH758USTIR can also have IR and a laser curtain which can sense simultaneously up to four touch points on the screen or two stylus pens for both writing and drawing. To increase collaboration and interaction even further, the additional NovoConnect application would allow up to 4 students to share content from their connected device through a wireless network directly to the projector.
With a Full HD 1080p high definition resolution, high brightness at 3500 ANSI Lumens and 10000:1 high contrast ratio, the DH758USTIR allows the teacher or the pupil to show the fine detail in images such as technical drawings or large excel files. The projector also offers very complete connectivity options with HDMI v1.4, MHL/HDMI v1.4, 2x VGA-in, 1x VGA-out, microphone input, audio-in/audio-out, RJ45 for network administration and control (AMX, Crestron, Extron, Telnet compatible).
The DH758USTIR is designed for low maintenance and cost of ownership, featuring Dynamic Eco Mode which delivers 7000 hours of lamp life, a sealed optical engine to prevent impact from dust and an extended 5 year Education Warranty.
RESUME body copy:
Wishtrac – first Ultra HD 4K Visualiser
The HoverCam Solo 8 visualiser has just been made available in the UK from its newly appointed distributor, Wishtrac. In addition to viewing A3 double page documents more clearly than ever, the HD 4K video quality with 30fps at 1080p, produces stunning results with no lag – perfect for videos to flip the classroom. In addition, the Solo 8 is the first document camera to implement ASR (Adaptive Sensor Resolution), but never mind the fancy terms. To the end user, this just means that you’ll be able to zoom in with digital zoom while still maintaining outstanding image quality with no degradation!
Just as an added bonus the Solo 8 has a small footprint and easy portability, this camera ships with the new HoverCam Flex software which operates natively on both Windows or Mac computers and allows for live picture editing. The camera also comes with OCR software for scanning a document into editable text.
WolfVision – new functions for a traditional technology
WolfVision’s latest presentation technology solutions will be on show at BETT 2015, including the VZ-9.4 Series Visualisers, and the VZ-C6 Ceiling Visualiser System. These easy-to-use systems enable flexible creation, display, recording, and distribution of multimedia presentation content material. Both VZ-9.4 and VZ-C6 systems feature on-board HD video recording with audio, enabling the capture of complete multimedia presentations and lectures. Recordings are not limited to the Visualiser’s own camera, and external display material from connected devices can also be easily captured.
WolfVision will be demonstrating the VZ-C6 Ceiling Visualiser in use together with the new XXL size dry-erase working surface. These new working surfaces offer a large 920 x 520mm dry-erasable writing area, which can be used as a digital alternative to a whiteboard or blackboard – with the important additional benefit that they can also be used for capturing handwritten notes when used as part of a lecture recording system. WolfVision will also be demonstrating the latest version of their vSolution Connect app for iPad, which syncs wirelessly with VZ-9.4 Series and VZ-C6 Visualisers. It enables the iPad to be used as a multimedia control dashboard