Citrix Systems is a 25-year-old business that specializes in building virtual workplace solutions that give people new ways to work better with seamless and secure access to apps, files and services on any device, wherever they go. The company recently decided to upgrade their training facility with a new projection system. The company needed to streamline the content sharing, annotation, and videoconferencing aspects of how they were training employees. They wanted a solution that could do it all.
“I wasn’t looking into anything in particular at first,” says Fabien Bourdon, Senior Architect at Citrix Systems. “I wanted to see what was out in the marketplace, and find something I thought would make sense in future training. Having seen older interactive projectors that were pen-based, it seemed like a good thing, and the ones that were finger-based seemed much more intuitive since everyone has moved to a tablet form factor.”
Fabien learned of BrightLink Pro from one of Epson‘s dealers, who told Fabien that the system was up and coming. Fabien travelled to InfoComm to experience a number of short throw projectors from different companies, some pen-based, some finger-based, in order to get an idea of how well the technology would work with their training practices. At the show he was able to get a hands-on demo of a BrightLink Pro projection system, and he was immediately impressed with the capabilities.
“We wanted to see how well it would work with our GoToMeeting product,” says Fabien. “It worked flawlessly. The possibilities seemed wide open at that point. It was pretty much a no brainer.”
Epson’s BrightLink is an interactive projector that has had extreme success in the educational market over the past six years. When the company decided to position BrightLink into business applications, they found the need for a different type of product. BrightLink requires a computer and software to work, where Epson found a need for a solution that needed no computer to work. From that discovery the BrightLink Pro was created.
BrightLink Pro is an ultra-short throw interactive projector system that can expand to 100 inches diagonal. It allows a company to install the projector over an existing whiteboard and turn that into an interactive whiteboard without any software or computer attached to the system. Using a finger or a digital pen, users can write, annotate, add pages, send sessions as e-mails, or store them in a USB drive using the projector alone.
In addition, a computer can be hooked up to the system to turn the whiteboard into an interactive surface. The image from the computer screen is projected onto the whiteboard, and a finger or digital pen is used as a cursor to manipulate what is on-screen. It turns the whiteboard into an interactive desktop, where users can browse the internet, use PowerPoint, open a videoconferencing meeting, and more. HDMI and VGA inputs come standard, so videoconferencing systems can be hooked in to turn the system into a videoconferencing display, and the screen can be split to show a videoconferencing feed on one side and content on the other.
“The basic advantage of BrightLink Pro, overall, is that it closes the gap between millennials and baby boomers in the workplace,” says Sean Gunduz, Senior Product Manager for Projectors at Epson. “If someone wants to walk in and use the dry erase board they can. If someone is comfortable with BrightLink Pro they just turn it on and use it like a digital whiteboard. If they want to go to the next level and connect through videoconferencing they have that option too.”
At this point, Citrix is using the BrightLink Pro projection system mainly for training purposes.
“The old way was pretty much hand puppets on the wall,” jokes Fabien. “It was an old-style long throw projector, extremely dim, with dim lighting in the room because the projector didn’t have enough lumens. Low res — it was just an overall bad experience.”
Class instructors have begun to train on and utilize BrightLink Pro in their practices. Adaption has been easy for some, and a bit more difficult for others, but Fabien has created a document which outlines the capabilities of the system, and instructors have been excited to learn of the strength of the system. After training sessions the company conducts surveys to learn how students and instructors are adapting to the new technology. Virtual students have been particularly impressed with the system as it allows for a more fluid connection between content and videoconferencing.
Citrix hopes to expand their practices while using BrightLink Pro, including using the system for meetings and presentations. The company believes the system will continue to help their company grow.