Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Wipad iPad Wireless Projector

I was sent the Wipad Pro (http://gowipad.com) to demo and it is a cool device! The receiver plugs into an HDMI port on a projector or monitor (or to a VGA connection via a VGA/HDMI converter box accessory offered by Wipad). The snap-on back for the iPad 2 or new iPad with its  attached transmitter plugs into an Apple HDMI dongle and the 30-pin port on the iPad. The transmitter recharges via an included USB cable.

Wipad Pro: snap-on back, transmitter, and receiver

The iPad is projected in HD and the sound winds up coming out of the TV or projector. You are not tethered to the projection device so you can roam around the room. So what makes this different than simply mirroring with the Apple TV? One big thing that is useful for many schools.

With an Apple TV, the iPad and the Apple TV need to be on the same network, whether the Apple TV is being used wired or wirelessly. The Wipad does not use the network to connect and does not impact the network traffic! It uses a wireless technology that does not interfere with any other devices. So, when you are streaming that Discovery Education video from the iPad to the projection device, you are not utilizing the network bandwidth. The IT crews will love this device! And, in addition, there is no lag at all, with video, audio, or apps. I even powered up SlingPlayer, which loads the cable connection at my home to my iPad, projected it via the Wipad, and it was perfect on the TV!  (In addition, the Internet connection on your iPad still works, something that does not occur if you have to set up some type of ad-hoc network between your iPad and a computer.)

For school use, IT departments will be happy and for those of you that cannot wirelessly project via an AppleTV at school, this is a good solution. For those of you who present in hotels or in rooms with no WiFi, this device can be used to present since you do not need a network. You can roam with up to 100 feet away as long as you have line of sight to the receiver.  If your school or organization purchases several Wipads, the receiver can store the identifier of up to eight transmitters. This is helpful if the receivers stay plugged into projectors or televisions in various rooms and the iPads move around.

Set-up of projection. Projected image is perfectly clear. The photo is not!

There are a couple of things I need to mention. The Wipad does work great. You simply pair the transmitter with the receiver and the projected iPad immediately shows up. You can wirelessly project from up to 100 feet away. The snap-on back did not fully snap-on to my new iPad since I had a skin on the back of my device. If your iPad does not have a skin, there should not be a problem. The transmitter that attaches to the back of the snap-on back does add a little weight (6 oz.) to the iPad, but nothing that would preclude carrying it around the classroom or presentation venue.

The price of the Wipad Pro is advertised at $399 on their site. Educators can receive a discount of 25%. There are volume price breaks for the purchase of 50 or more, but things can be negotiated on a case by case basis. You can read more about it, see the specs, and the features on the Wipad site.