Interactive projectors are becoming increasingly popular in educational and work settings. They allow users to give more engaging presentations as compared to traditional projectors. Users can interact with the projected imagery in real-time. Interactive projectors make classes and boardroom meetings fun and exciting.
What is an Interactive Projector?
An interactive projector is designed for educational or presentation purposes. It projects imagery like a home theater projector. However, it also allows users to interact with the projected imagery. They can change slides, highlight and write text, and draw graphs on the imagery in real-time. The projectors use sensors to track the onscreen movement and represent it digitally. Affordable interactive projectors use digital pens to allow user interaction. Newer and more expensive models of interactive projectors support finger touch as well. They allow the conversion of any screen or wall into interactive touchscreen displays.
Interactive projectors are installed directly above the screen or a classroom whiteboard. Therefore, they must have an ultra-short throw ratio. It will prevent the projector from blinding the presenter with its high brightness output. Some interactive projectors may have a short throw ratio and are placed three to four feet away from the screen or whiteboard. They can be installed on a ceiling or wall using a mount.
Interactive projectors are more expensive as compared to home theater projectors. They may have a lower resolution (generally XGA or WXGA) but a higher brightness rating (3,000+ ANSI lumens) as well. They use either DLP or LCD technology for projection and come with a lamp or laser light source. Interactive projectors must be used with a computer or laptop.
What are the Types of Interactive Projectors?
Interactive projectors can be broadly classified into two types based on their working,
DLP Interactive Projectors
DLP interactive projectors use a digital pen to facilitate screen interaction. They embed a special pattern into the projected image. The pattern appears and disappears quickly so that the human eye can’t detect it. However, the digital pen can detect the embedded pattern. It allows the DLP interactive projector to track the movement of the pen. As the user moves the pen on the screen, the same is reflected in the projected image digitally. It is quite similar to using a mouse. DLP interactive projectors don’t support finger touch.
Infrared Interactive Projectors
Infrared interactive projectors have a camera and one or more infrared sensors. Its Touch Detection Module emits an infrared light beam on the screen. A digital pen reflects the infrared light back to the projector whenever it touches the screen or whiteboard. It allows the camera to track the movement of the pen on the screen. As the user writes or highlights something with the pen, the same is reflected digitally in the image. Infrared interactive projectors require a line of sight between the pen and projector to work. Some infrared interactive projectors support finger touch functionality as well. They allow you to convert standard surfaces into interactive touchscreen displays.
The Benefits of Using an Interactive Projector
There are many benefits of using interactive projectors over traditional projectors.
Improves Presentation Quality – A primary benefit of interactive projectors is that they significantly improve the quality of the presentation. The educator or presenter can express their thoughts and viewpoints better. They can highlight text, draw graphics, and interact with the presentation. It allows them to emphasize their points and explain them better. With traditional projectors, they can only shift through the slides, but an interactive projector allows them to accomplish a lot more. It improves the overall quality of the presentation.
Increases Viewer Engagement – Interactive projectors significantly improve viewer engagement. People can become disengaged when they are viewing a slideshow. It is especially true for students in a classroom. An interactive projector allows the teacher or presenter to interact with the board. The viewers become more attentive when the presenter is interacting with the board, instead of just explaining orally. Some students may find it easier to understand the lessons when using visual cues along with an oral explanation. They may participate more willingly in a classroom if they get a chance to interact with interactive touchscreen displays themselves.
Implement Changes in Real Time – Interactive projectors are beneficial for individuals and organizations who have to present proposals to their clients. Professionals, such as architects and web developers, can make real-time changes to their presentations when presenting projects to clients. Traditionally, they would have to make the required changes on a computer. With interactive touchscreen displays, they can adjust the presentation according to the client’s requirements and even show how the project will look after the suggested changes are implemented. Interactive projectors can assist them in gaining more clients.
Enhance Productivity – An interactive projector enhances the productivity of teachers and presenters. They won’t have to spend time writing on and erasing whiteboards as they can prepare editable presentations. There will be no need to write every bit of information on the board. It saves them time as well as allows them to concentrate on the presentation. When writing on a board, the presenter may forget an important topic of discussion. With an interactive projector, they can make the presentation beforehand and review it for ensuring all the required topics are covered. They won’t have to discuss the same topic in another session just because they missed a few points.
Environment Friendly – Interactive projectors are better for the environment. They minimize paper usage for creating lectures or presentations. The presentation can be shared with the students or clients through the Internet. They can access the presentation on their laptops, smartphones, or computers without having to print it out or make notes on paper. By minimizing the use of paper, interactive projectors assist in controlling the global carbon footprint.
Interactive projectors are becoming an essential tool for educational institutions and offices. They make presentations fun and exciting while providing numerous advantages. Their adoption is increasing as more institutions and organizations discover their benefits.