Epson You've done it again!

We’re all very excited by the new interactive projectors.  Schools are snapping up this very cost effective piece of kit all over South Australia.  They’re much cheaper than your traditional interactive whiteboard both to purchase and install.  Of course, they’re not quite as feature rich as a SMART 800 or Activboard 400 series.  There’s no multi-touch or gesture capabilities and it only comes with basic software.  Easiteach Next Generation, however works beautfully with it and is beginning to be the software of choice for those who purchase this hardware.  As i have cited in previous posts both SMART and Promethean ( here in South Australia ) are currently holding back the operation to run their software on this particular piece of hardware.

When the new Epson 455Wi came out a couple of weeks ago the image at the top of this post appeared on the American based Epson site.  Surprisingly, at the time, when you clicked for more information you were told that the bracket was in production and it wasn’t actually possible to order it yet.  It seemed very much as though they were surprised that people thought what they were showing was a cool idea.  That has changed recently though.  It would seem that a company called Interaktable have taken this project on and you can now sign up for more information!

 

A Smart table is around $10,000, a Epson WII550 is just over $2,000 I can’t see the stand being 8,000 some how.  Things could get interesting here! Of course, in my opinion, Epson (and all the other interactive projector makers)  now need to catch up with dual user functionality and gestures then they have  real chance of replacing the big boys!

 

4 Comments
  1. Ali 7 years ago

    You get what you pay for with these things, Selena!
    The SMART Table allows for up to 80 simultaneous touches – that’s 8 children all using the Table at a time, with 10 digits each.
    There are some very powerful applications with this – for example, allowing children to count with their fingers (the SMART Table will count each single digit placed on the surface) in answer to a mathematical question.
    In addition, there are many other very powerful, collaborative activities that can be played on the table.
    The Epson WII550 relies on the child using a pen, which restricts the kinaesthetic nature of the activities. Finger touch is particularly instictive for early years learners. Restricting the use to a single child at a time doesn’t allow for that collaborative learning environment that the SMART Table can provide.
    I don’t know if you have seen the SMART Table in action, but it really is very powerful…

    • admin 7 years ago

      Hi Ali,

      Thanks for giving us the SMART perspective 🙂 Yes. I have played with the SMART Table a number of times. In fact I’ve talked about it a bit on this blog. It’s a very cool device and, you’re right, it works very differently to the interactive projector. The entire technology is different and that’s why it costs more.

      This post came out of the excitement that Epson were experimenting with using their interactive projector in this way. It turns out that this might have had something to do with RM who supply a ID (Interactive Device) that can be both a board and a table. In order for that flexibility to occur they needed to move the fan from the side to the back (thus the new 455i was born).

      At the moment this isn’t a replacement for the SMART table but it is an interesting development.

      I know SMART love to talk about the inhabitants of pens and, in some special cases, pens can block learning. However, as you probably know, for me the issue of pens or fingers is not as important as the ways in which the technology can be used to enhance teaching and learning. Whilst, having more than one students interacting with a device can be very powerful (when used effectively), I definitely don’t think all collaboration requires everyone touching/using one object at the same time. I’ve never been lucky enough to teach with a multi-user board and I still see students collaborating successfully whilst taking turns (and developing their team/group skills)

      Perhaps the two devices offer different opportunities. Especially if the Epson can offer the flexibility of working as table and a IWB. At a fraction of the price, you could have more than one in your classroom (we might even be getting closer to Jason’s Dream Classroom.

      The Epson projector doesn’t offer dual functionality or multi-touch but, once it does, I am sure even SMART might start to think about how to upgrade the table to make it more cost effective. They are both outstanding products and although there is some overlap in their approach, they both have potential to be used in slightly different ways. At the end of the day schools should purchase what suits their needs better. My post was never intended to show any bias… perhaps a little enthusiasm that’s all! 😉

      If I did have to choose an interactive table device… to be honest… i’d look at Microsoft Surface 2.0 devices. These things are great for research and collaboration. They’ll scan the bar code on a book in a library and complete auto searches on the author, the book and all sorts, displaying all the information on the table’s surface for you! The Microsoft technology responds to objects you place on it not just fingers or pens. Very cool! Also very expensive! (as usual!!) That was revealed at BETT the same time as the SMART Table.. 09 i think that was.

      I know you love and work for SMART and there is no doubting SMART tech’s commitment to EDTech. ( I love your products and play with them when ever I get the chance) but have a look at what else is out there too 🙂 You might be able to suggest something back to the team to help develop your excellent products even further 🙂

      One thing doesn’t necessarily fit all and it’s always interesting to see how different companies develop their technologies. SMART and PROMETHEAN’s new boards are great examples of that. 🙂 Competition helps the products to develop and improve and therefore to help enhance teaching and learning… that’s all good by me 🙂

  2. Vicki 7 years ago

    Hi guys,

    I have been reading your comments with great interest!

    We are extremely lucky to have a SMART Table at our school and I love it! It is so mobile and easy to wheel about the tiny classroom that I am teaching in. As a classroom teacher I am a little concerned about the bulkiness of Epson’s attempt at a SMART Table. I can just imagine my students taking more interest in playing with projector than working on the screen! Also, don’t forget that the table will still need to be plugged into a PC! The great feature of the SMART Table is that the PC and projector are inbuilt into the table and well away from prying fingers! Good try Epson but they still have a lot of work to do to compete with SMART!

  3. John Gerrard 7 years ago

    WOW! I love the EPSON unit. How simple and cost effective is this. I am really excited that all our school funds will no longer go to technology that is over priced. A teacher and myself recently saw this at TCEA in the US. The fact that this projector allows any software is amazing. I no longer am limited to SMART only software but can use any application. Also, I teach grade 1 and I can tell you from my perspective limited touch is better when you have students that are more curious about touching and disrupting lesson plans. You don’t see here but the laptop is underneath the table and I can buy a table, clamp and projector for $2500. providing some equality for my students and school.

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