Workplace technology is changing fast with BYOD, wireless networking, and the work anytime-anywhere mentality of today’s workforce. The ideal conference room should be able to accommodate whatever attendees bring to the table–literally–with minimal compatibility issues and cable-fiddling. Everyone knows time is at a premium so here are several devices and solutions that help you get the most out of your meeting minutes.
Visual Appeal: LCD Display or Projector?
Companies can spend months waffling over the type of visual display to put in a meeting room. Let’s consider a standard 10-15 person meeting room in the 500-600 square feet range.
When considering a business projector, think about the ambient lighting present in the meeting room. The most common complaint you will hear is that the picture is not bright enough. For a sharp presentation in a room with a normal amount of ambient lighting, like if the meeting room has a window with blinds for instance, we recommend a projector with at least 4,000 lumens of brightness. If you check out the business projector store page, you can search by lumens. You will notice that projectors with this level of brightness start at around $1,100.
The InFocus IN3126 is a good place to start your projector search. It is competitively priced with basic but useful features, like connectivity over LAN or WLAN, speaker audio output and microphone inputs, and can interface via HDMI, VGA, and USB.
For around the same $1,100 price you can get a 55-inch flat screen LCD display. Keep in mind 55 inches is the smallest screen you should consider for this size of room. Generally, LCD screens are more forgiving with ambient light, so if that is an issue in your meeting room, it is probably enough to sway your decision. Mounting a flat screen to the wall is a relatively straightfoward task, somewhat less labor intensive than hanging a projector from the ceiling.
Larger LCD monitors have a bigger price tag (surprise!) and similar compatibility features. As with any tech purchase it is a matter of gauging your specific needs.
You Aren’t BYOD Unless You’re Wireless Ready
When is the last time you saw an Ethernet port on a tablet? Most new displays have wireless features built in, but there are tools that can add connectivity to older equipment and bring multi-device collaboration to the next level.
A budget option might be the InFocus LightShow III, shown below. It is supports multi-device collaboration, and is designed for classroom presentation settings. It is designed for Windows 7 and 8 and Mac OS X. NeweggBusiness users report finicky driver behavior when using the more up to date technology, so be mindful. This product might be ideal if you are introducing it to more “legacy” technology environments.
Travel companion for mobile presentations
If you’re out on the road and a guest in a not-so-hi-tech work location, the IOGear Wireless Mobile and PC to HD GWAVR adapter works great if you need to present in a pinch. It connects your mobile phone, tablet, or laptop to any HDTV or monitor via a wireless. Just plug the, uh, GWAVR into a monitor’s HDMI port, and control your presentation using your device.