When I first came into the industry some 28 years ago classrooms were still using chalk or write and wipe boards, at the time Rapid were installing the first wave of IBM compatible PC’s into the classroom or IT Rooms. When I was introduced to SMARTBoards at the end of 90s it really was a revolutionising moment for our business and Rapid haven’t looked back. During that time we’ve seen a change in the classroom were we have basically gone from analogue tools to digital ones in a very short period of time. Schools everywhere clamoured for Interactive Whiteboards and projectors and the future for projection in the classroom looked very bright (pardon the pun), we also saw a generational shift as we went from ceiling mounted projectors to wall mounted ultrashort throw projectors reducing shadow cast on the touch surface.
But you can’t stand in the way of the wheels of progress and at the beginning of last year Rapid saw a huge shift away from projection based solutions to LCD/LED Touch Screens solutions. The reason for this shift was multiple. Costs of Large Format LCD/LED touchscreens had come down massively offering comparable pricing with projection based solutions, additionally the touch screens offered Multi Touch (more than one user) and Dual Touch (like pinch to zoom in zoom out on a tablet or smartphone). They also offered a brighter higher resolution option compatible up to Ultra HD (UHD) or 4K resolution applications. One of the main things though was ongoing maintenance, customers could see the benefits of a classroom where the lamp didn’t need replacing and filters didn’t have to be cleaned. When we showed these solutions to teachers it was a bit of a no brainer, the majority of them had been using touch screen technology for some time with the majority of them owning some sort of personal touch screen device in their pocket or purse ! I mean lets face facts how many of you out there still own a CRT TV at home instead of LCD or LED Panel TV ….its just progress.
SMART have a great range of these screens both in HD or UHD running their award winning Notebook 15, but one of the things Rapid have noticed is SMART’s willingness to work with other touch screen partners in these changing times with them supplying Notebook withBENQ and VIVIDTOUCH panels, whilst slightly reduced in functionality with pens etc they still work incredibly well with the Notebook application. Rapid can also recommend that you look at the new Promethean ACTIV range of touch panels, these are incredibly good value for money with a 5 year warranty and a school can claim £ 200 cash back per panel bought. All solutions go from 55” through to a massive 84” large format interactive screen.
That’s not to say projection is dead completely, we have found that specialist high definition, high brightness projection systems are perfectly suited to large auditorium environments and along with our wireless presentation solutions you no longer need to have cabling trailing across the hall !
If you considering renewing your classroom projection systems Rapid would certainly recommend that you consider upgrading to Interactive Large Format Touch Panels. Rapid definitely think classrooms are entering clearer, brighter touch screen future …..call us today to arrange a demonstration.