Vivitek recently launched V1.5 software for its NovoConnect presentation and collaboration system for classrooms and conference rooms, bringing attendance management, enhanced whiteboard interactivity and ‘polling’ option for instant participant feedback during lessons and presentations into the fold.

A new Classroom Tools option for V1.5 extends the management capability of NovoConnect to allow teachers and facilitators to track attendance, lock student tablets and swiftly terminate sessions when desired.

Added to this, there is now a new whiteboard tool for hand-drawing, text input, not to mention image import and improved file management.

This ‘polling’ option gives student participation a boost by allowing them to participate in multiple choice quizzes and cast votes individually during lessons.

Launched in 2014, NovoConnect makes technology collaboration in the workplace and classroom a reality. It allows for distributed display and control between PC, Mac and tablet and smartphones devices to create a fully interactive presentation and collaboration environment.

The fully wireless communication enables content sharing across multiple devices and the unit is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, Chromebook, iOS and Android operating systems.

In this Q&A, CIE talks to James Hsu, director of operations, Vivitek EMEA to find out all there is to know about NovoConnect.

What exactly is NovoConnect and what can it offer commercial applications?

“Education is the main target audience and NovoConnect includes many features beyond ‘just’ connecting the student and teachers to project on the screen”

NovoConnect is a cost-effective yet feature-rich presentation and collaboration system for classrooms and conference rooms.

At a fraction of the cost of some high-end products, NovoConnect delivers wireless presentation with cross-OS (PC/Tablets) support and is packed with features ranging from, 4-to-1 projection, on-screen annotation, interactive white-board capability, video streaming from tablets/phones, and putting the host in control of the presentation process, etc.

This gives participants an easy way to share, compare, and interact with each other, whether in the classroom, conference room, or auditorium.”

How does NovoConnect work?

NovoConnect is built upon standard wired and wireless network communication technologies.

Mobile devices (tablets, phones, laptops) send their screen images to NovoConnect, which in turn, manages and assembles these images for display via HDMI interface.

On the other hand, the software plays a key role in making this product competitive.

• Cross-OS platforms. In addition to Windows/Mac/iOS/Android, it becomes the industry’s first product to support Chromebook.
• Dual-network support. NovoConnect can support Guest-Employee network structure, being the only product that can do so.
• Video streaming from tablets/phones. In contrast to jerky video playback from a lot of wireless collaboration products, NovoConnect offers clear picture and sound up to 1080p at 30fps.
• Voting/polling. NovoConnect supports instant polling/voting in classroom/meeting rooms.
• Screen preview. This patent-pending technology allows teachers to preview student’s screen before putting it to screen projection.
• Classroom tools. NovoConnect provides a range of tools for teachers, including attendance monitoring, lock student tablets, voting, screen preview, etc.”

Can NovoConnect communicate with other automation platforms?

We offer remote management software to manage multiple devices from a central computer over the network.

How easy is it to set up?

“At a fraction of the cost of some high-end products, NovoConnect delivers wireless presentation with cross-OS (PC/Tablets) support and is packed with features ranging from, 4-to-1 projection, on-screen annotation, interactive white-board capability, video streaming from tablets/phones, and putting the host in control of the presentation process”

The installation is simple and straightforward:

o Plug in HDMI cable and power supply
o Choose your configuration – corporate or education
o Install software:  Download the software on your laptop and tablets that you plan to connect. You can even skip this step with our accessory, Quick Launcher, for PC/Mac.
o Launch software: scan the QR code projected on screen or enter the login info manually and you should be connected right away.

NovoConnect sets up its own Wi-Fi Hotspot by default. Alternatively, you could also choose to connect to your existing Wi-Fi network or wired network (via an Ethernet dongle.)

Quick start guide detail:

First set up of NovoConnect is pretty straightforward – step A, B, C are done just once for initial set up:

A) Software set up: download the App to your device:

• Desktop Streamer for PC/Mac: www.vivitek.eu or www.vivitekusa.com.
• Desktop Streamer for Chromebook: Chrome Web Store (chrome.google.com/webstore) (search ‘NovoConnect’ to locate the software.)
• NovoPresenter for Tablets/Phones: App Store or Play Store.

B) Hardware setup:

a. Connect the HDMI cable to NovoConnect and into a projector or LCD monitor
b. Apply the 5V power

C) Basic configurations:

a. There are two configurations – Corporate and Education. If you wish to switch between the Corporate and Education edition, connect a mouse to the NovoConnect and click on the “Edition” field.

b. NovoConnect’s Wi-Fi is default to hotspot mode for quick setup. You could configure it to connect to your existing Wi-Fi network easily. (We call this as the “Client Mode”.)

D) Now it’s ready to connect all participants: Connect your device to the Wi-Fi network shown on the screen as Step 1 (e.g. NVC_C585C)

E) Make your first log-in:

Once you have done the first login, you are now the host / moderator (i.e. teacher). From here on you can connect multiple devices to join, following the same steps.

The role and status of each participant is indicated by a choice of two icons; moderator or presenter. (Additional participants are listed without symbol).

• For Corporate Edition, the moderator is the participant who turns on the Moderator Mode.
• For Education Edition, the moderator is the first participant that joins this session.

What particular type of customer does NovoConnect target?

Education is the main target audience and NovoConnect includes many features beyond ‘just’ connecting the student and teachers to project on the screen.

It also facilitates the teacher to control the student tablets and check if the subject matter was understood correctly by conducting easy to set up polls and survey questions that can be prepared in an instant.

The business market as well as the hospitality market are also key targets, especially when using NovoConnect in client mode, using the existing network.

• With accessory, Quick Launcher, employees and visitors can use this product without installing any software.
• With Ethernet dongle, it can also enable visitors (GUEST network) and employees (EMPLOYEE network) to share content via NovoConnect.

How do installers get involved? Is there training/technical support available?

Vivitek has an introduction video available in several languages, but we also support the Vivitek resellers via our newly set up training portal with tutorials and additional video content.

What margin is available on the system?

We offer a competitive AV oriented margin structure and it’s a nice incremental revenue opportunity when selling a projection system.

More on NovoConnect:

“NovoConnect has had an enthusiastic reception from end-users in both business and education to solve the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and AV integration challenges,” says James. “Our V1.5 software upgrade now allow the system to gather attendance data and feedback from students as well as increasing the integration with other classroom technology such as whiteboards, as well as compatibility with the popular Chromebook laptop PC.”

New features for NovoConnect V1.5 Upgrade:

– Attendance register
– Settings protection
– Data Encryption
– Video / YouTube Streaming
– Chromebook Compatibility
– Dual-network support (enabled via RJ-45 connectivity)
– Quick Launcher (a USB dongle that eliminates the needs of installing software)
– Polling
– Smartphone portrait-enabled

The NovoConnect module is available now at a list price of €299 excluding VAT. The Quick Launcher USB modules are also available for approximately €25 excluding VAT.

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