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PRC

PRC has announced ECOpoint, an integrated eye-gaze system for ECO, PRC’s most advanced Windows XP–compatible communication device. The addition of the ECOpoint eye-gaze module gives users full access to ECO’s robust communication and computing capabilities via eye movements. ECOpoint uses dual high-definition cameras and a dynamic LED array to track the user’s eyes and deliver a large gazing area to accommodate greater head and body movement.
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NEC Display Solutions of America

NEC Display Solutions of America (www.necdisplay.com) announces the latest in the NP Portable Series with the fully featured NP216 DLP projector. Dual VGA inputs provide multiple computer inputs and eliminate the time-consuming process of alternating between computer sources from one input. The latest TI DLP Link technology offers users the ability to project 3D images. Additionally, the variable audio-out feature enables users to connect self-powered external speakers to the projector, adjustable by the projector remote control. Lamp life is extended up to 5,000 hours with the use of its Eco Mode technology and lowers power consumption to 217W (0.49W in standby mode).

NEC

GENERAL-PURPOSE: The NEC NP400 (list price, $1,199; street price, about $800) LCD projector provides bright images (2,500 lumens) and wired network connectivity to users who require remote monitoring and control at a value price. It includes built-in closed captioning, seven-watt audio, automatic keystoning and eco mode technology, which can boost lamp life to 4,000 hours.SHORT-THROW: The NP600S ($1,199) creates a 77-inch diagonal image from less than four feet; it is a 2,600-lumen projector and, like the NP400, has wired network connectivity and provides up to 4,000 hours of lamp life in eco mode.INEXPENSIVE: The NP200 is a DLP projector with a street price of about $600; it is an XGA resolution projector and has 2,100 lumens and a lamp life of 3,500 to 4,000 hours. Its inputs include composite video, dual component/VGA and S-Video.HIGH-DEFINITION: NEC recommends its NP500W ($1,399) for high-definition projection; with 3,000 lumens, it supports the 1,080i high-definition video mode.

NETSUPPORT NOTIFY

A school would install the NetSupport Notify network (LAN, WAN) messaging system program to communicate any message to the staff as a group or to small groups of staff members. This short message is then displayed on a designated staff member’s computer screen (either PC or Mac). With the acknowledgement feature, the sender can confirm who has received the message. Pros: The program can issue an audible alert. Messages can be classified as critical, alert, technical, message, or news. The messages can be set up so they only go to specific people or to the entire school, so teachers could send messages requesting urgent help back to the security officer or to the main office. The program can be password-protected to block unauthorized users. NetSupport Notify requires no special equipment and has a distribution module so all the computers in the school can be installed from one location. Cons: None.Overall Impression: This is a good tool to increase the security of our schools and to improve communication between the administration, technical staff, and the instructional staff. As long as this type of communication tool is used responsibly, it would make a great fit for schools.  Retail Price: $180 for a 75-user pack

NEC Display Solutions of America

released a standard- aspect desktop display. The energyefficient 17-inch MultiSync LCD175M monitor features an EPEAT Gold rating, as well as ENERGY STAR 5.0 and TCO 5.0 compliance. Its eco-mode technology allows users to maneuver between two energy-saving modes and enables the calculation of power-consumption savings for the monitor’s carbon-footprint meter. Additionally, the monitor boasts a new power-circuit design that achieves 0.4W power in power-savings mode and in power off.www.necdisplay.com

SANYO www.sanyoPROJECTORS.com

released the PLC-XW250 and the PLC-XW200 for the education market that include an eco standby power mode and its exclusive Easy Setup Function. Using just 0.4 watts, the PLC-XW250 and the PLC-XW200 eco power stand-by mode saves about 80 percent of the energy that is consumed by similar previous SANYO projectors. Both projectors incorporate SANYO’s Easy Setup Function, which includes Auto Input Signal Search, Auto Vertical Keystone Correction, and an Input Guidance Function. When a signal is detected, it enables easy setup for expert users and novices alike. Using the supplied wired LAN terminal, both models can be controlled and managed via network connection.

SOFTCHALK V5 (WWW.SOFTCHALK.COM)

SoftChalk, a developer of content-authoring software, has released SoftChalk V5. New features include a digital repository. Users can now perform keyword searches across several media repositories and embed widgets, so blogs, polls, surveys, widgets, wikis, and videos can easily be inserted to create dynamic lessons. The eCourseBuilder tool combines several lessons into larger eCourse modules with automatic calculation and tracking of score information between and within lessons.Price: $550 for single education license, volume discounts offered Category: content-authoring software

Calypso Systems’ ezRoom

Calypso Systems’ ezRoom-5000 (www.calypsosystems.com) delivers integrated device control, hardware and software user interfaces, remote monitoring, audio amplification, CAT5 wall plates, projector mounting, and every wire, cable, and connector needed to build out classrooms. The addition of Calypso Systems’ Smart Block adds up to four relays and power-management capabilities to the ezRoom- 5000. Developed on an open-architecture platform, the ezRoom-5000 is compatible with all projectors and standard A/V gear.

Put to the Test : Discovery Software Principalm+

allows administrators to transfer student-information-system (SIS) data to a handheld device. Because data can be accessed from a handheld immediately, the information may be used for everyday discipline, student-conduct incidents and histories, emergency preparedness, and security. Each user is issued his or her own passkey, and data can be synchronized as often as needed.PROS: The Principalm+ transfers information without using a third-party server. The software transfers data to most handhelds, including smartphones, BlackBerry smartphones, and PDAs, and soon to Apple iPhones. Users can add customizable fields. The data-download sets can be customized, such as downloading just phone numbers and health information for a teacher going on a field trip.CONS: None.OVERALL EVALUATION: One of the biggest problems administrators have is that all the student data we collect are never where we need them when we need them. Principalm+ solves this problem. Administrators can use Principalm+ to check the discipline record of a student at the site of an incident rather than having to wait until they get back to the office. They can look up a locker combination on the spot, or even a parent’s phone number. This type of application is long overdue.www.discoverysoftware.comRetail price: Based on per-student, per-module model.

Samsung Opto-Electronics

Samsung Opto-Electronics America (www.samsung uf-130.com) announces the Samsung UF-130DX Presentation Station, a high-definition digital presenter with an onboard processor running Windows CE. The ability to work with several memory devices, such as compact flash cards, SD cards, and even USB flash drives, allows users not only to save their presentations but also to upload their files to the UF-130DX for playback. The UF-130DX is also networkable (via Ethernet 10/100). Attach any USB keyboard and mouse to access the Internet directly from the document camera. If a presentation was left behind on another system, use the UF-130DX Remote Desktop Control to access a remote PC via a campus network to download the file. Also unique to the UF- 130DX is the ability to provide live dual outputs from the document camera as well as the input source. These live displays can be sent to several monitors for side-by-side viewing or overlaid on a single display for picture-in-picture viewing.