More and more, the corporate world is finding value in connectivity, collaboration, and the sharing of information. However, with that discovery comes the need to be able to share that information seamlessly. And let’s face it, the boardrooms of old — with walnut and glass and little else — are a thing of the past.
Instead, technology has taken over. Smart TVs and interactive panels are gracing our corporate hubs (and our classrooms, too), and the potential for sharing information and collaborating in groups is impressive. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that screen mirroring has become one of the most effective communication tools in the corporate arsenal.
What is screen mirroring?
Screen mirroring is a technology that allows you to share a screen from one device onto another. Offering a multitude of uses in the office and classroom, screen mirroring is a quick and easy way to share a presentation or other information with a large audience.
Benefits of being able to mirror to a conference room display
There are multiple benefits to having the ability to share your device’s information via screen mirroring or screencasting. By eliminating the rolls of cables and connectors of days gone by, mirroring allows seamless connectivity between presenter and audience.
- You can share from many types of devices, including phones, laptops, and tablets.
- Mirroring lets you maintain a higher level of control over what is being shared and when you choose to share it.
- Wireless screencasting features have done away with the need to do a full setup whenever you want to present and share individual sets of information. Now, anyone in the room can share an idea, sketch, graph, or document directly from their own device.
What should you look for in a screen mirroring device?
When it comes to broadcasting your information to a larger screen, there are several factors to consider. And while many devices utilize WiFi or Bluetooth connections, that isn’t always the case. As you look to make a decision, you’ll want to verify the following capabilities:
Works with a variety of devices
Screen mirroring can work with a wide variety of sharing devices, but a lot depends on what application you choose as your broadcasting tool. For example, if you’re considering an Apple TV setup, you need to realize that it will only work with Apple-branded devices like an iPod, iPad, MacBook, or iPhone. If you’re positive that none of your staff or clients will ever be on an Android or Microsoft device, that may be a good solution. But if you’re not 100 percent certain, you’ll have to either consider multiple casting options or one that covers a wider range of connectivity.
Provides seamless connectivity
As you’re considering your next device purchase, you’ll also want to know how easily it connects with the originating devices. Do they use Bluetooth or WiFi to connect devices to the screen? Or is there some sort of plug-in option? Is a special application or software program required, or is it as simple as copying what is on your device? Again, be sure to look at how you plan to use mirroring to help guide this decision.
4 Top Screen Mirroring Devices
When it comes to mirroring your screen, the past few years have seen an explosion in the types of tools that are available for either classroom or corporate use. Here are some of the most popular screen mirroring devices that you can use in your conference room or classroom.
1. Apple TV
Pros: Depending on where you stand with the Apple/Android argument, the fact that Apple TV will screencast only to an iOS or Mac device will help you make your decision. Outside of that, one of the best arguments for Apple TV is that, as with most Apple devices, the user interface is easy to understand and use. Additionally, mirroring can be done via a connective cable or through a WiFi connection.
Cons: In addition to being a bit larger than most of the other options on this list, the Apple TV requires its own AC plug, meaning you can’t connect it to a power source via the device itself.
2. Google Chromecast
Pros: Small and portable, the Chromecast plug-in is the size of a standard flash drive, so you can take it anywhere you want. Also, Chromecast functions with a cross-section of different devices, including Apple, Android, and Google, which provides a great, inexpensive resource for busy, adaptive offices.
Cons: While it will work with a variety of devices, it may only work with some if you have the right software application to connect the two — one out of more than 250 from the Google store. Unfortunately, some office staples, like Keynote or Powerpoint, are incompatible with a Chromecast, as no connective app currently exists. And one more thing, it won’t work within a VPN. If your corporate haven is super-secure, there’s a good chance that you will experience some connectivity problems.
Pros: Since Miracast is one of the most common platforms you’ll find for mirroring platforms, we’re including this as a tool. However, the reality is that many devices (from Belkin’s video adapter to Roku’s Streaming Stick and Netgear’s Push2TV) base their connectivity on it. Because Miracast doesn’t require a wireless access point or an existing network, it offers remarkable flexibility in the locations it can be utilized.
Cons: Once again, you have an operating system divide. If you need to connect Apple devices, this option probably won’t be your final choice. However, Miracast tends to work seamlessly with the right adaptor, as long as you’re using an Android, Samsung, Google, or Microsoft device.
Cost: $40 & up, although most are right around $60.
4. Interactive Display
Pros: With an interactive flat panel or display, not only do you solve the capability issue of screen mirroring but also the most common screen mirroring question — where will we share too? When you use an interactive display in your boardroom, you will be able to share easily among a wide range of devices, and you can be sure everyone in the room will be able to see it.
Cons: Unless you choose an integrated interactive display, you may need to install some third-party software to mirror your screen, which might mean you encounter technical bugs that need to be addressed. However, if you choose an interactive display with integrated software programs like Clear Touch Collage, the application is inherent to the product and offers seamless integration, even with Chromebooks.
Cost: Variable, depending on the brand. Clear Touch Collage has no ongoing software costs and comes bundled with the Clear Touch panels, other brands may have ongoing software fees.
Whether you’re in a corporate office or a blended classroom, if you’re considering your options for screen mirroring as part of your daily integrations, there are many options available. For seamless integration, incorporated software options, and more, consider Clear Touch for your presentation needs — no matter how extensive or simple as they may be.
If you want more information about Clear Touch interactive panels, software applications, and accessories, schedule a demo to learn how the solutions we offer can bring interactivity to your communication.