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Fleetwood’s new touch-screen

Andy Stout 1 February 2010
Fleetwood's new touch-screen

Fleetwood has announced a new touch-screen based audience response system for interactive meeting and electronic voting applications.

Reply Ativa is a high speed, handheld and scalable professional audience response system that centres on the WRS8200 wireless voting keypad.

Text responses can be made via an onscreen keyboard or SMS-style buttons, while an onscreen slider allows moment-to-moment responses (or impressions).

Smart card support is also offered for secure user registration and data logging at sensitive events such as shareholder meetings or delegate voting sessions.

In operation, an Ativa base station – equipped with a RF transceiver, and housed in an enclosure roughly the size of a regular USB memory stick – plugs into a PC USB port from where it can form a secure two-way wireless link with sister RF transceivers embedded into each of up to 15,500 uniquely identifiable Ativa WRS8200 wireless keypads over a range of about 150m.

Ativa is controlled by a PC software application that integrates with Microsoft PowerPoint presentation software. This allows presenters to instantly create audience polling slides and display the live results to the audience. This can be via a projector or display but also to the individual participant via the Ativa keypad’s display screen.

“One of the most challenging aspects of getting such a large-scale response system to work reliably is that everything hinges on the speed and responsiveness of the wireless link,” explained Pat Moody, VP, sales and marketing for the Electronics Division of the Fleetwood Group responsible for manufacturing the Ativa product in the US.

“This link has to maintain its integrity even in hostile RF-dense operating environments where the system will have to cohabit with other active 2.4GHz sources of potential interference within a venue, such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

“There is simply no room for error in a professional voting situation where every entry absolutely must be counted,” continued Moody. “That’s why we use our own patented RF protocols to establish the private network between the keypads and base station. These communications methods are robust and proven to work reliably time after time.”

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