Pico projectors, consumer devices transform presentations
Mobile devices paired with the right consumer/prosumer hardware may be the future of sales, training, and general meeting presentations.
In yet another of his surprise emails, Steve Jobs allegedly responded to the question of whether the Apple TV and Airplay would support output from Apple’s Keynote app (the equivalent of Powerpoint in the company’s iWork suite). Jobs’ “just wait” response mirrors his earlier responses like the request for iPad printing.
While this is an Apple-specific point, it relates to a larger issue when it comes to presentation tools: the day’s of needing a dedicated conference/training space with a built-in project (or dragging a heavy case with a projector) are securely in the past.
In this case, it means that an inexpensive ($99) Apple TV and a device that can handle Airplay and iWork (currently a Mac/PC or iPad) is all you need provided your facility offers and HDTV. That sounds limited but if rumors of iWork for the iPhone are true, then a $99 Apple TV plus a $199 (with contract) iPhone could equip any mobile professional with the tools to turn almost any space into a conference, sales, or training facility (even if iWork for iPhone doesn’t happen, other iPhone apps can output presentations and multimedia files via Airplay).
Beyond Apple, the same could be said for a Google TV box like the Logitech Revue ($299), the Western Digital line of TV enabled hard drives (starting at $129), the Boxee Box ($199), and even some of Roku’s offerings (which start at $59).
Granted all of these are consumer devices and the best options for using a smartphone or tablet to display content are the Apple TV and the Logitech Revue (similar to AirPlay, Google TV offers a Fling feature for displaying content on a TV from an iOS or Android device). But even with the other consumer options, a portable presentation solution can be created from consumer technology for the business space.
Want something a bit more professional that doesn’t require a TV? No problem.
Pico projectors have occasionally hit the tech news (though without garnering a lot of mainstream attention). These tiny projectors, some almost as small as a smartphone offer decent (although not spectacular) traditional projector capabilities in a small and ultraportable form factor. Some actually offer direct input options for smartphones and tablets (including Apple’s proprietary iOS dock connector).
While still somewhat of a niche market, pico projectors shouldn’t be ignored. For sales presentations, meetings, and smaller training sessions, they are an amazing solution – light wieght, ultraportable, requiring no additional hardware beyond the device they connect to, and delivering solid results. And that’s not counting the cool factor that can be so important in certain sales and consulting presentations.
Cool factor and ease of use aside, all these technologies have one key advantage: they don’t require special facilities to function. TV-related devices require just that a TV (it could be a theater-level presentation system or a set in someone’s living room). Pico projectors don’t even need that. Some don’t even need a power outlet. Whether paired with a notebook, a tablet, or a smartphone, mobile professionals can easily carry all their equipment needs in their pockets, purse, or briefcase. And they don’t need to spend a fortune to purchase them. That’s a pretty powerful set of options for almost any professional.
Are you a mobile professional charged with sales, presentations, or trainings? Have you worked with any of these types of technologies? Share your experiences in the comments.