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10 questions to ask before buying an Interactive Display

If you're looking to setup an interactive solution in your business or school, there are 10 simple things to consider.

Next-generation interactive digital displays, such as the Sharp BIG PAD, are proving more popular than ever in both corporate and education settings. They offer an amazing array of features, deliver seamless integration into existing technology platforms and are proving more cost-effective than ever before.

The best systems let users do exactly what they need to do, when they want to, while at the same time using their own familiar and IT-approved software tools and existing peripherals.

Also driving this growth is improved AV performance, a smaller hardware footprint, so taking up less space in ever crowded rooms, and a move to open architecture solutions. Being able to use your own software and peripherals is key to this adaptability, as users often bring non-standardised devices, such as smartphones and laptops, and want to connect them to the interactive display for easier collaboration.

If you’re looking to setup an interactive solution in your business or school, there are 10 simple things to consider and answer to help you find the best one for your needs.

1: Size and space are often a key factor, so choose a display provider that offers a wide range of screen sizes. Sharp, for example, currently offers options ranging from 65-inch up to 80-inch in its BIG PAD range.

2: If you’re looking to add the interactive display to an existing setup, is the interactive display brand you are considering a “closed architecture” product? Or is it an open architecture solution that will integrate smoothly with your existing videoconferencing, cameras, software and other equipment?

3: Does the brand of interactive display you are considering have Windows embedded, or does it let you run the displays from your own OS that’s already approved by your IT department?

4: Will the purchase of the interactive display also require proprietary annotation software, proprietary cameras for video-conferencing, etc. in addition to the flat panel or projector-based display for the system to work optimally?

5: When it comes to using the displays, will the interactive display vendor require software licensing for all of your staff, adding further initial setup costs

6: Enquire as to whether annotation and collaboration software is included in the price of the interactive display. Furthermore, will staff need training to operate the interactive display?

7: Does the interactive display use a third-party touch overlay for the multi-touch functions, or is it integrated into the design of the interactive display from the start of design/engineering?

8: For true collaboration, consider how many users can use the interactive display simultaneously. Enquire as to how many touch points the display you are considering will support. Sharp interactive displays, for example, offer 10 touch points on its latest BIG PAD Pro devices.

9: If you’re looking to set up your display for interaction with multiple users, will it work in a BYOD (bring your own device) environment?

10: Will the interactive display perform additional digital signage functions if needed?

Interactive digital displays based on an open architecture model are proving to be the best way to seamlessly integrate new advanced interactive display solutions into the classroom or meeting room. Increasingly, organisations are doing this at a more modest cost, while simultaneously taking advantage of existing best practices and existing AV and video-conferencing equipment and software investments in the user’s organisation.

If you’d like to know more information about interactive displays and some of the thinking behind this article, Sharp USA has crafted a white-paper ‘The New Game-Changing Interactive Digital Displays‘, which is available as a free download.


European PR Manager