Epson Brightlink 450Wi First Impressions

Got a demo today on the Brightlink 450wi projector. Here are some thoughts/observations.

Observations:

  • Love the simplicity. Really like the super-short throw aspect of the device so we can mount this on the wall and get people out of its way.
  • Software is simple. Basic floating palette for Windows or Mac OS so it can be used across all apps.
  • Pull-down white screens will actually get in the way, really you have to project to a hard surface or wall
  • USB and VGA connectors coming off the projector to the computer.
  • Calibration initially with pen was easy.
  • Single pen
    • changing colors/width via the sw floating palette
    • uses IR to communicate back to the projector
    • has a right-click button on the pen/stylus
    • a little space in the point to the shaft of the pen is nice because it gives feedback on pressure against the wall
  • wide screen throw is nice.
  • virtual screen stuff is nice to create multiple whiteboards on the fly.
  • No pairing/registration system needed for wireless pen to projector
  • wireless video to it – not really interested but probably still not there yet.
  • Really a good fit for what I think we need

Notes/Concerns:

  • I wanted to touch the whiteboard with my fingers (a la Smartboard). Not going to work. If you have teachers using their hands with other interactive boards, this would be tough to get used to.
  • Can use a couple of pens with one projector, but not at the same time. No multi-touch. Also, would be nice to have colors/thicknesses tied to the pen, but no biggie
  • Because of the demo location of the projector below me and front desk projection rather than the standard front above projection, I was able to block line of sight of the pen to the projector a few times. Not going to happen when it is properly installed, but interesting.
  • Fewer pieces of hardware makes more sense to me.
    • Less stuff to lose
    • Less stuff to break
    • Less stuff to install
  • Seemed like a nice transition to interactive boards for teachers who want to play and see if it makes sense with their content.
  • Really a pen-based system. The pen is the mouse/color, etc.
  • You also see the stuff you are annotating back on the computer screen which is nice.
  • Has basic built-in speaker, but can do audio out, so you can tie it in with existing amplified speakers.
  • floating tool palette remains visible in powerpoint and browsing the wbe and other applications, but doing the fullscreen flash test (i.e. youtube full screen) you lose the palette which I expected but would be nice in flash video fullscreen to be able to annotate (I know our teachers do it with dry-erase.)

Seems like a good call for our situation where you have space challenges and you have rooms that have multiple subject and teachers that may be interactive board users and/or ones who want to test and see if they could use one.