What Is an Interactive Projector: A Guide on How They Work, Benefits, Features, and Cost Analysis

Interactive projector

Introduction

Interactive projectors are ultra-short-throw projectors with words or images being projected to a whiteboard or projector screen. The outstanding feature is that one can interact with what is being projected by use of a special pen or sensors, Unlike the standard projectors. What has been added to a standard projector is a sensor that can detect movement and add them to image being projected.  These have made business meetings lively during presentations and schools as well.

 

Benefits of interactive projectors.

  • Enables web designers to work with their clients showing them the websites while making changes and presenting the information to team members.
  • Being able to engage with the screen captures attention of the audience and keeps them interested.
  • For lecture halls in colleges and high schools, it allows students to participate hence its an efficient teaching aid different from the routine dictation of notes,
  • It allows one to mix up work with fun videos, games etc. in the presentation to break monotony of continuous slideshows.
  • Architects can project the workplan, revise their work and send corrections to clients for consent and feedback.
  • Government agencies can use interactive projectors to allow stakeholders to agree on reports and documents and improve efficiency.
  • Creates teamwork, collaboration is greatly improved by having team projects as a way to learn new areas.
  • Increased productivity, interactive projectors will not shut down in the middle of a presentation and in the case of lecturers, they can prepare their lesson notes at home and get started immediately without wasting time. setting up the projector is also easy and fast.
  • Highly flexible, one does not have to go back to laptop or tablet to scroll through topics. This projector has sensors that help you navigate your presentation easily saving on time.
  • Environment friendly, online studying has replaced paper work thus saving the environment. Students can share information via internet and this eliminates the need for printing.

Why do people prefer interactive projectors more?

Ultra-short throw projectors are most preferred to long throw projectors for a number of reasons including;

  • Interactive projectors are short throw and can be placed next to the screen unlike other long throw projectors. This allows to save on space and limits shadow images experienced with long-throw projectors whenever someone stands. with short throw interactive projector one can sit close to the screen. Long throw projectors are necessary when someone has a large home theatre.
  • Enables more interactive sessions since they are mounted few inches from the wall. The projector’s light does not blind the students or staff. Some manufacturers offer support for tablets and smartphones to increase interactivity.
  • Affordable to install, interactive projector is cheap to install since its mounted on the wall and not the ceiling reducing costs associated with installation.

ALSO READ: COMPREHENSIVE ANALYSIS OF INTERACTIVE PROJECTORS VS INTERACTIVE SMARTBOARDS

 

How do Interactive Projectors Work?

Interactive projectors are an improved version of the standard projector. They have sensors installed to detect movement and make changes to the images. The technologies used in interactive projectors are two different types;

  1. Infrared, other than projection lens, infrared uses a special camera to monitor the movements of the special pen. Detector light is conveyed to the camera when the pen comes into contact with the projection surface and motion is detected just like with a wireless computer mouse.
  2. DLP interactive projectors discharge a unique pattern into the image that is projected. This pattern flashes very quickly for someone to see but the pen detects the pattern and transmits the data back to the projector, where motion is reflected to the surface.

Features of interactive projectors.

Flexible interactive presenting.

Presenter or lecturer can comfortably access the laptop from the screen, draw or write notes and everything needed without rushing back to the laptop.

Increased connectivity

Presenter can connect to DVD players, PCs, wi-fi etc. giving more freedom to move around without limitation of cable length.

Easy to use pens.

The interactive pens are easy to use with just a press of a button and allowing it to connect with the screen from which you access even the laptop on the screen, allows to make notes, erase and even draw images.

Long battery life pens.

The batteries in these pens can last 8-10 hours which is long enough to complete a meeting or a class. If you would like to learn more about the power consumption of projectors and whether they will increase your electricity bill, check this article HERE.

Finger touch control feature.

Once the touch unit is installed and angle of touch adjusted, one can use the finger to do everything that a pen does including zooming, drawing etc.

Multi-Contribution

Allows for more than one person to contribute to the topic, the presenter can allow about four more members to display on the screen thus encouraging contribution of students or staff.

Allows for split screen feature.

Its easier for teacher or presenter to have a workplan on one half of screen and the content on the other.

Cost Analysis of Interactive Projectors vs Normal Projectors.

Interactive projectors replaced traditional smartboards since they don’t need the whiteboard setup and can be projected on walls. One can cut expenses by half in investing in interactive projector as compared to standard projectors.

Interactive projectors also have a long warranty period than regular projectors hence are safe to invest in long-term. They have larger screens as well enabling for comfortable and clear view in case of a large audience.

Interactive projector vs interactive display.

Interactive displays are mounted on walls and are screens displaying images by enabling touchscreen interaction and use of a remote control. Unlike interactive projectors, they do not need a pen to interact with image since they can respond to finger touch.

Display screens are independent of laptops or tablets making them easier to use. They also allow connections to USB ports and files transfer. Unlike interactive projectors which have to be connected to additional devices.

Interactive displays are also less noisy than projectors since the later rely on fans to function.

Interactive projectors use lamps that require constant replacements hence are expensive as compared to display screens.

Brightness in interactive projectors decreases with time and requires darker rooms to use them which is not convenient for classroom experience unlike interactive display screens which are low maintenance.

ALSO READ: ARE PROJECTORS SAFER FOR THE EYE THAN TV FOR BLUE LIGHT EMISSION?

 

                 Where to Use Interactive Projectors

1.     Ways to use interactive projectors in classrooms.

 

  • Students and teachers can use interactive projectors to review course material, mark assignments together correcting mistakes.
  • Allows lecturers to work from home, once they have the programme installed in their home computer, they can send the notes to students.
  •  Enables teacher to include games and fun activities to the lesson, breaking monotony and improving content retention by the students.

2.     Ways interactive projectors are used in places of worship.

 

  • Projectors are used to display song lyrics, newsletters and welcome guests. Saving on costs of providing each individual with a hymn book.
  • Churches use interactive projectors to display sermons for the sake of people taking notes. This helps keep the message undistorted by accents.

3.     Ways interactive projectors are used in offices, auditoriums and conference rooms.

  • To hold conference meetings, most offices invest in short ultra- throw projectors that are portable and cost efficient in the long run as a way to also conserve the environment.
  • To improve teamwork and keep interactions interesting during meetings, this is made possible by the ability to have multiple people interact on the screen.

Considerations to Make When Buying Interactive Projectors.

i.                   Lifespan of the lamp.

It is important to consider bulb life to avoid extra costs and interruptions during presentation. Technology imbibed in interactive projectors lowers power consumption and extends the lamp’s lifespan making it economical and efficient to be used in many places.

ii.                 Throw distance.

The distance between the projector and the wall is the throw distance. Most ultra- short throw projectors are mounted on the wall and not the ceiling, this is to avoid distracting lights affecting your audience. They also can be used in small spaces in case of offices thus saving on space and associated costs.

iii.              Easy installation process.

The installation of interactive projectors is simple and fast since there is no need for projection screen. The projector only gets mounted to a wall and the technology made ready for use. There is minimal hardware interaction thus its affordable and saves on time.

iv.               Technical capabilities of the users.

Interactive projectors allow for multiple users hence its easy for the teacher to guide students on how to use it practically as well as arrange group assignments that will increase experience for students.

v.                 Compatibility

For a classroom or office, its necessary to consider an interactive projector that can connect with different smartphones and laptops to allow students and staff to engage and interact.

vi.               Image quality.

How clear and bright images are contributes greatly to an efficient presentation, its therefore necessary to procure a projector that adapts well to light and darkness.

Benefits of Interactive Projectors.

  • Allows switching to several digital media.

Its so much fun to be able to switch from a class presentation to videos to games and group activities. By connecting memory stick to the projector, you get access to this and more during the course of the lesson.

  • Saves on time.

In the past teachers had to write a lesson plan and notes on the board while teaching, wasting time and creating monotony. Interactive projectors allows prior preparation by  lecturers can then send the softcopy notes to students so that they only listen during the class.

  • Captures the interest of staff or students.

Interactive projectors allow for dividing the lesson into small chunks and engaging in different contents thus keeps the audience interested.

  • Builds cooperation.

Teamwork is highly promoted by use of interactive projectors because multiple people can use the screen simultaneously.

  • Increased productivity.

 

Wrap Up.

Did you know that in August 2020, Hachi led by parent company Beijing Puppy Robotics Co., revealed Hachi Infinite M1, a powered interactive touch screen projector that turns any surface into touchscreen and it enables video calls and is portable to be used as a home theatre projector?

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS.

  1. How do interactive floor projections work?

Using software and motion camera technology, interactive floor responds to motion and multimedia content with help of a brightness projector.

  1. Can one put the projector on the floor?

Projector can be placed on a flat surface, preferably a floor stand to project image on a lighting track. However, mostly projectors are mounted on ceiling of walls.

  1. Which is better between LED and LCD projectors?

LED projectors are low maintenance and low power consuming, they emit more contrast and image quality than LCD projectors.

4. Can a projector increase my electricity bill?

This is comprehensively covered in a different article: Will Projector Consumption Increase my Bill?

 

Answered: Will A Projector’s Power Consumption and Wattage Increase My Electricity Bill?