Interwrite Meetingpad 400
- By John Breeden II
- Aug 05, 2005
I like to move around when I give a presentation. Maybe you do too. I just feel I can get my message across better if given freedom of movement.
With some PowerPoint presentations, however, you are pretty much tied to your notebook PC.
The MeetingPad 400 from GTCO CalComp Inc. of Columbia, Md., can change that. The MeetingPad is basically an interactive whiteboard in a clipboard-type form factor. You can get the software that drives it for either Mac or Windows.
Like a tablet PC, it requires a special pen to manipulate images on a screen during your presentation. So let's say you have a notebook hooked into a Digital Light Processing projector. You could then use the MeetingPad to drive your presentation and everything you wrote on the MeetingPad would appear on the screen.
The MeetingPad uses wireless Bluetooth to connect to devices. You simply need to plug in a Universal Serial Bus receiver to the computer that you want to use for your presentation. We tested it in an 80-foot conference room, and it worked from every seat at the table. So you can pass it around and let people sketch their ideas out on the screen.
You can even link up to seven MeetingPads together at the same time, which would create a truly collaborative meeting environment.
Like a notebook PC, the MeetingPad runs on rechargeable batteries. We worked with the MeetingPad for more than 30 hours without needing to charge it.
To date, one of the best presentation tools I have seen was a pen-type device that could be used to advance PowerPoint slides. The MeetingPad can be used that way as well, but also gives users total control of their presentation and even the ability to add content as they go. Combine that with a plug-and-play collaborative work environment or virtual classroom, and you have one great tool for presentations at any level.
John Breeden II directs the GCN Lab.