OK, I'm going to really geek out here in this post. You have been warned.
A few weeks ago I came across a solution being used here in LA for wirelessly, over WiFi, streaming 1080 HD video from HDSLRs (digital SLR cameras that shoot full frame HD video, like the Canon 5D Mark II) to HD monitors. TV Producers and movie makers are using this setup in Hollywood so the Director of Photography and/or the Director can see what the camera operator is shooting in real time. (Oddly enough, this is actually what got me to initially start thinking about using the iPad as a wireless interactive whiteboard. Admittedly a convoluted train of thought... More could be said on that; but, I digress...)
The setup is really pretty cool, and the idea of wirelessly streaming that much digital video content in real time amazed me. The solution: the Teradek, a display device, and a wireless network. After watching a video demo of the technology, I was stunned to see that Livestream* and Teradek have already teamed up to allow users to stream HD video over the Verizon 4G network in real time. Watch the video below for a quick overview and amazing demonstration. (In the still poster image for the video below you can see the regular handheld HD video camera, the Teradek Cube sitting on top of the camera, and the Verizon 4G card plugged into the front of the Teradek Cube.)
This will be a game changer.
News organizations, video production houses, schools, anybody, can now broadcast live, in real time, their own HD internet TV station. High Definition! In real time! Using affordable HD video cameras. And the price is affordable for a school or district account that might broadcast concerts, games, board meetings. Production houses can stream their dailies in real time to the execs in LA or NYC on a secured Livestream channel. This has numerous possibilities. (And beware: Teradek claims their Cube will tunnel through any firewall even if you're using a private IP address to get to the Livestream servers. Hmmm...)
But that's really not what this post is about. That's just the setup for where my thinking is about to go.
After figuring out how to turn the iPad into an IWB, I've been wondering why tether the iPad 2 to the projector to stream a mirrored, real time HDMI video out of the user's interaction with the iPad. Well, the answer is cost. The Teradek Cube solution is too expensive for typical classroom or presenter use.
But, it didn't take too long.
Eric Govoruhk and Kelly McAteer have created a homemade solution to wirelessly mirror the iPad 2 in real time HD to a projector or HD TV. The cost: about $250.
I think he is using the HP Wireless TV Connect and a USB battery pack/charger for a cell phone—all purchased at Fry's.
Now, the solution isn't elegant. It's a hack (that does not involve changing the iPad 2 in any way). And it works—apparently with zero lag time. My prediction: it won't be long before similar devices appear on the retail market. Apple should have been a step ahead of this with their own accessory, at the least. And, maybe they are. Perhaps AirPlay, an accessory of sorts, will contain this feature in the not-too-distant future.
Imagine, streaming everything you do on your iPad 2 wirelessly to your projection device. The next logical step would be having IWB software for the iPad itself, so the teacher can write directly on the iPad screen, on apps, on the web browser with no need for a classroom computer.
Way cool! It's going to happen. As my grandmother would sometimes said, "I can just feel it in my bones."
*If you don't know Livestream, Ustream, and similar services, I encourage you to explore those possibilities. Think, "broadcasting your IWB lesson in real time" and a whole lot more.