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TCEA 2013: New school AV and presentation tools

Epson’s BrightLink 436Wi ultra short-throw interactive projector can be mounted on a wall or used on a table. Users can interact with projected images from a variety of sources using two pens at a time, without having to be connected to a PC.

A document camera that streams live, annotatable video to iPads; a mobile device charging cart that can identify various devices and deliver just the right charge to each; and a voice-activated system that automates the recording and sharing of class presentations:

These were among the new audio-visual and presentation tools unveiled at the 2013 Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) conference in Austin this month.

Here’s a roundup of some of the latest school AV and presentation technologies announced at TCEA 2013.

AVer announced three new products at TCEA: a document camera that streams live, annotatable video to iPads; a sub-$1,000 professional video conferencing system that’s H.323 compliant; and an iPad cart that AVer claims is the first in the industry to charge and sync 32 iPads for under $2,000.

At $599, the AVer TabCam is completely wireless. A free TabCam app in the Apple App Store lets you stream and record live video through an iPad. The app receives and displays the live video stream, allowing for broadcasting to a projector or monitor. The app also includes annotation and manipulation tools that let users interact with the video or with other digital content. The camera itself features a 16x zoom and a 45-foot wireless range.

The AVer EVC100 is an all-inclusive, plug-and-play video conferencing endpoint that includes a camera, codec, and microphone. Because it’s H.323 compliant, it connects with almost any content provider and video conferencing system. Its 88-degree field of view is the widest in the industry, AVer says, and the device also comes with a three-year warranty.

Priced under $2,000, the AVer TabSync charges and stores up to 32 iPads in a lockable, rugged cart on wheels. It ships fully assembled, AVer says.

Bretford debuted a new line of Library 2.0 furniture, designed with today’s media centers in mind. As with the company’s EDU 2.0 line of furniture, the chairs and tables feature power supplies and USB outlets for plugging in mobile computing devices. The new Library 2.0 line also includes a tech-enabled “teaming table” built specifically for collaboration; it’s a height-adjustable mobile table with two power and two USB outlets and a stanchion for mounting a screen.

Bretford also introduced a product designed for storing and charging a wide array of mobile devices. Using “detect supply charge” technology, the lockable MDM Tray can identify what kinds of devices are connected and deliver just the right charge to each device, Bretford says—so the devices don’t get “fried.” The MDM Tray holds up to 10 devices and is great for “bring your own device” initiatives, the company says.

Califone demonstrated a new line of “Listening First” headsets. The new headsets are an extension of the company’s Listening First line of headphones and now feature a built-in microphone for recording speech. Made with rugged ABS plastic, the headsets are available in three color choices (blue, red, and yellow) or three animal themes (bear, panda, or tiger). These headsets, along with several other models, come with the option of three plugs: dual 3.5 mm, USB, or the “To Go” plug, which makes the headsets compatible with tablets, smart phones, and other mobile devices.

Epson demonstrated a number of new products at TCEA, including its first portable interactive projector for schools; an ultra-bright projector for use in naturally bright classrooms; and options for both active and passive 3D viewing of images.

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