Until January, Evansville’s South Central Media held weekly conference meetings with a clunky tabletop projector, a 4-by-3 white screen, and a laptop cued manually by staff in the front of the room. The setup was cumbersome, recalls Jason Phillips, the office’s operations manager, since their media department teleconferences twice a week with South Central’s Nashville and Knoxville, Tenn., offices.
Then, in June 2011, at the annual Infocomm International Audiovisual Tradeshow in Orlando, Fla., they were introduced to InFocus’ latest product, the Mondopad, a life-size tablet that combines visual presentation and cloud-based video conferencing equipment into one mega unit.
Dubbed the “glorified iPad,” this upright or wall-mounted device sports a sleek, 55-inch LCD, multi-touch, high-definition screen. The Mondopad is just like a computer, Phillips says, yet its “biggest advantage” is the teleconference application, which includes a 720-pixel camera, four integrated microphones, and a voice-optimized sound bar for dialogue clarity. With the Mondopad application and the internal network password, any PC, tablet, or smartphone can wirelessly sync with the host’s live presentation. And, depending on the viewer’s connection speed, he or she can instantly enhance and control the presentation with side notes, drawings, highlights, images, etc. At the conclusion of the conference, the presenter can attach and send all materials via email with a finger tap on the Internet file.
Aside from teleconferencing features, the device also boasts Windows 7 software – Word, Excel, and PowerPoint – and other office capabilities such as whiteboard drawing and writing features, and working with JPG and PDF document formats. The Mondopad highly benefits businesses with traveling sales representatives, says Phillips, though it’s useful for any company that meets regularly to discuss strategies and issues. The most useful feature, according to Phillips, is how he can annotate saved PDF files, edit and highlight installation drawings, and email or forward the instructions to his technicians within minutes. “It really is an all-in-one tool,” he says. “Plus, it’s fun.”