Published: March 27th, 2013

Known mainly for its printers, Epson Canada of Markham, Ont. is branching out and has introduced an ultra-short throw meeting room projector.

Called the  BrightLink Pro, it can turn a whiteboard, wall or any other flat surface into a digital surface. Epson Canada also said the BrightLink Pro can provide collaboration functionality to participants including video conferencing and remote collaboration.

The projector is being marketed as a digital whiteboard where users can present and make annotations on existing content or capture and share newly created content by saving, printing or e-mailing through the network. Epson said that no computer or special software is required for the BrightLink Pro.

BrightLink Pro can project to 100-inches in a widescreen display area. Live meetings can occur through the machine’s split screen option.

In addition, users can connect up to four BrightLink Pro units that all reside on the same network, regardless of location, for remote collaboration, the company said.

It comes with a control pad that acts as a USB hub, an extension to USB ports or as a remote control unit. Meeting participants can use the control pad for example to connect to USB thumb drive, a PC or printer. Another feature are buttons to power the BrightLink Pro on and off, and to select major functions, including Whiteboard Mode, Source Search, Capture, Print, or Save.

Sean Gunduz, product manager, corporate projectors for Epson North America said BrightLink Pro is creating a new category in the display industry that addresses a need faced in every meeting. The BrightLink Pro works as a stand-alone appliance, with no computer or software required allowing users to project, collaborate, capture and maximize their productivity.

In conjunction with Chief, Epson is offering all-in-one mounting solutions with the BrightLink Pro to corporate users that want to match existing conference room décor. These mounting solutions include the BrightLink Pro, mount and whiteboard, bordered by one of three different finishes – a deep cherry, aluminum or teak. Users can also purchase a basic package with the BrightLink Pro and wall mount, with no special finish.

The BrightLink Pro 1410Wi has 3LCD 3-chip technology, WXGA HD widescreen resolution and 3,100 lumens of colour brightness and 3,100 lumens of white brightness.

The digital whiteboard enables users to turn on the projector and start writing without using a PC; images, basic shapes and templates can be inserted and up to 50 pages created; multiple pages can be saved as a single PDF or multiple PNG files on a USB or network drive, printed to a local or network printer, or e-mailed to another user.

Through Epson’s iProjection app, users can bring their own devices running such as the Apple iOS 4.2 or later and most Android devices running Android 2.3 or later, project on BrightLink Pro, annotate, capture and share.

The Epson BrightLink 1410Wi projector will be available in April in the channel for $3,059 or $4,408 and $4,708 for the Chief all-in-one aluminum and wood finish solutions (respectively).