AV News was one of the early adopters for wePresent’s initial product – the WiPG1000. We installed it in our offices where it still works along with our Mimio portable whiteboarding solution. Changes in the IT landscape have prompted wePresent to add further models to its range. In this piece, we look at the WPG2000 and the SharePod introduced at ISE earlier this year.
We first became aware of wePresent at around the same time as Barco launched ClickShare. Early on, ClickShare was great, but it was primarily aimed at collaboration through hardwired laptops. wePresent offered wireless presentation and collaboration. WePresent allows up to 64 users to connect and give a wireless presentation, in full 1080p HD, to a central display from any device, and is compatible with PC, Mac, iOS, and Android, and now Chromebook.
We felt at the time that the wireless / mobile device facility was a serious omission from ClickShare. Barco subsequently bought AWIND, wePresent’s parent company and incorporated its technology to later versions of ClickShare. But that wasn’t the end of the wePresent story. The wePresent brand continued and its range has been developed with the launch of two new models in recent months.
The new flagship model is the WiPG2000. This combines the basic functionality of the original WiPG- 1000 with the interactive functionalities of the WiPG-1500 plus some brand new features.
WePresent says that connecting the WiPG- 2000 to any interactive display or projector creates a fully collaborative and interactive environment. Advanced features include: onboard USB media; a document player; a streaming video player; and network video distribution capabilities. For the systems integrator, the WiPG- 2000 is completely customisable.
It was recently announced that wePresent has expanded the platform with the launch of the MirrorOp app for Chromebook. While the Chromebook option is not as popular in Europe as in the US, the app provides full wireless presentation and screen mirroring functionality on most popular mobile devices, including ChromeOS for those who need it.
The latest update to the wePresent WiPG-2000 firmware also brought with it a number of other feature upgrades, including iOS9 compatibility for iPad and iPhones through AirPlay. The upgraded firmware also decreased latency from the wePresent when streaming from AirPlay, added a QR code to facilitate a faster connection. For systems integrators, the ability to customise the screensaver on individual wePresent units in order to better brand meeting spaces.
We found the WiPG-2000 easy to set up to use with a range of Windows 10 devices and our iPhone 5s. Our impression is that the new flagship device and the MirrorOp app offer stable and easily established connections. We used both the ‘guest token” (dongle) and the QR code to install the app on the Windows and iOS devices respectively. Both worked well.
In use, a simple tool bar ix overlaid onto the content to be shared which enables the user to start and stop the content and to select the quadrant of the screen to place the place it in. There is also a full screen option. Unlike some of the apps of this type we have tried, MirrorOp provided a robust and reliable wireless connection. For a street price of well under £1000 this is an economical and effective way of turning a meeting room into a collaborative space.
SharePod: connectivity made easy
AV News has tried several wireless presentation gateways over the years found a number of them tricky to set up. Because it’s our job, we persisted and overcame the problems – but most regular users won’t have the patience. To simplify the process, wePresent has developed SharePod, described as a new option for wirelessly presenting any HDMI-output source to a display.
The SharePod is paired to a wePresent unit, enabling seamless collaboration with both HDMI sources and existing wePresent users. Because the SharePod supports all of the existing wePresent features, teachers can easily present from their computers, side-by-side with images from a document camera, a student’s iPad, and a guest laptop.
The wePresent SharePod offers a connection for users to present from without downloading software or requiring network access, enabling a streamlined environment for wireless mirroring. All encoding is done at the SharePod and sent to the wePresent, which also saves resources the OS could be using, like RAM and graphics processing power. It really is as easy as pushing an HDMI cable into the SharePod and your content appears on the main display!