We spoke to Epson UK about the current condition of the projector market: namely if there are any technologies threatening the market and what value projectors bring to video installs, as well as any trends that might be developing.
Prices of large-format LCD displays are falling; with little to no maintenance costs and easy installation, how are small to medium-sized projector manufacturers adding value to ensure their products aren’t overlooked in the display technologies market?
Projectors still offer exceptional value for money on a cost versus screen size comparison, both for interactive and non-interactive displays. They also offer the benefit of not taking up a permanent wall space; the weight of large-format LCD displays can be very significant and may require extra wall strengthening. Portable projectors also offer the benefit that they can be moved from room to room creating displays as required – this is a lot more difficult with large flat panels.
What key benefits are UST projectors bringing meeting and education environments?
UST projectors bring many advantages to meeting rooms and education environments as our most recent additions demonstrate.
Earlier this year we introduced a new range of ultra-short-throw education projectors, including our first finger-touch interactive product. The EB-595Wi enables users to interact with the projected image just by using their fingers. This allows teachers and students to get hands-on and take control, making lessons and lectures more engaging than ever. Teachers, lecturers and students can use up to six points of finger-touch, or either of the two interactive pens, to annotate directly onto the projected image, making it easier to write notes, draw diagrams or illustrate over videos. It’s easy to use the on-screen controls to change slides, choose inputs, or even save an illustration, all with the touch of a finger. The ultra-short-throw design allows users to interact with their presentations directly while minimising shadows and glare.
For the corporate environment we offer a complete digital solution for business meetings. The EB-1400 Series UST products combine the benefits of projectors, interactive whiteboards, flipcharts and other presentation equipment in one easy-to-use device. Delivering a 100in interactive projected image, and providing a wide variety of input sources, these models help businesses increase productivity and cut installation costs, by eliminating the need for multiple pieces of meeting room equipment. They can even be used without a PC connected. Content can be loaded from a network or USB storage, edited in a flipchart-style digital workflow, and then saved, printed or emailed for participants. The brand new EB-1430Wi also includes all the benefits of finger-touch interactivity for creative, productive meetings.
What trends do you see developing in the projection technology landscape?
One of the key trends at present surrounds connectivity. The last few years have seen the HDMI connection become a standard feature of the vast majority of projectors, to keep up with the demand for HD content display. But now there is a big focus on wireless display to suit ‘Bring Your Own Device’ scenarios. With different devices and operating systems on the market, compatibility can be a big issue. Epson have offered solutions including network presentation software and an iProjection app for smartphones for several years, and have just launched our first models featuring Miracast – enabling easy screen mirroring from compatible tablets.
Have you been involved in any recent projects that you’d like to highlight?
One that springs to mind is some work we have recently completed with Chester Cathedral. As one of the city’s major tourist attractions, they have used our projection technology to create a multi-sensory audio visual (AV) presentation in the bell chamber to help attract a family audience.