To say the world has gone mobile is an understatement. More people than ever use their cell phones and tablets as their primary device for productivity. This is even true of TechDecisions readers who we know increasingly access our content from mobile platforms. Yet, many times when you attend a show like InfoComm, you see companies pushing large, hardware-based systems that have little resemblance to the reality most educators (and working professionals for that matter) face.
“The world has already voted for mobile devices,” says Neil Gaydon, CEO, SMART Technologies. “This industry just hasn’t noticed.”
Gaydon’s comment came during a discussion about SMART Technologies new product SMART Kapp IQ, a 4K display with a built-in whiteboard that allows users to write on a display and have the content appear on any wirelessly connected mobile device any where in the world.
The idea is that users already favor mobile devices over hard-wired collaboration solutions and the SMART product takes advantage of that.
The projector industry is also making mobile integration a priority. When asked about K-12 trends influencing the projector market, Joe Gillio, senior director, Strategic Planning and Marketing at Casio, pointed to 1:1 and tablets in the classroom. That’s why products, even entry level ones, increasingly offer features like HDMI connectivity and wireless content sharing.
Another trend born of the move towards mobile is the rise in systems that support open architecture and greater flexibility. Educators don’t want to be tied to specific platforms or products. They want choice.
This trend was displayed heavily at the Sharp Electronics booth where the latest Aquos Board was set up with integration for Google platforms, Promethean’s ClassFlow and Splashtop. Stephen Brauner, senior project manger, Professional Displays at Sharp Electronics discussed the company’s move towards device agnostic solutions and open architecture, which makes integration with mobile easier than ever.
The move towards open platforms has huge implications for BYOD. Today, most schools interested in getting devices in the classrooms choose to go 1:1 because it’s much easier to standardize on one type of device and one type of operating system. The choice is usually determined by taking a look at what other software platforms or technologies need to be tied into and supported by the mobile device. As technology continues to become more and more mobile friendly and the options for device agnostic solutions grow, BYOD will become a more viable option for K-12 schools.