Friday, March 24th, 2017

Logitech updates presenters for the modern office


February 2017 – The office environment has changed dramatically over the past decades. Electronic presentations have all but replaced the paper distribution in the standard weekly meetings. The biggest change in this routine is the move away from table top projectors in the conference room in favor of flat screen high definition screens. These screens are used for both video conferencing and for power point presentations.

The standard for these presentations is using a presentation remote that has forward and back slide control and an integrated laser pointer. The laser pointers not only do not reflect and show up on the screens, but they cannot be seen by other parties in shared video calls that incorporate slides. To address this new need, Logitech has introduced a new presenter solution to the market for the first time in over a decade.

Logitech Spotlight Presentation Remote

The new Logitech Spotlight has been modernized in both style and function. The style is modern minimalist – three buttons with a larger central button. The functions can be programmed and customized for each user. The presenter supports both slides and those with integrated AV in the presentations. The presenter can not only send slides forward and back, but also raise and lower volume on embedded media, and start / stop videos with gesture control. The presenter runs on both Windows and Mac platforms for programs including Powerpoint, Keynote, PDF, Google Slide and Prezi.

The unit now operates off of either Bluetooth connectivity or a 2.4GHz USB wireless connection that has a receiver key stored in the presenter. The control is now also chargeable with USB-C. The high power connection allows for a 1 minute charge to work for 3 hours. A full charge will run the unit for up to 9 hrs or standby over a 3 month period.

The active presentation features enabled by the software are also new to the market. They include an integrated haptic feedback timer that vibrates the controller at 15min, 5 min and zero min to mark the end of the presentation time. This function can be turned on and off via the software.

Logitech Spotlight Presenter Magnify Highlight Function

To address the loss of the use of the laser pointer function across video calls and on flat panel displays, the software now has three modes of item focus on the screen. The default mode drives the name of the product – the spotlight. It creates a circular highlight on the screen and dims the rest of the screen. The pointer then controls the location of the spotlight on the screen. In addition to the spotlight, there is a magnifier mode that leaves the rest of the screen intact, and changes the spotlight to a magnifier to show detail in an image. The third mode, changes the circle area of the magnifier to just an outline circle that can be used to have the full slide uniformly lit up but have a circle over a selected area to draw the user attention to it. These three modes work on images sent to a projector, a multi-screen environment, a single large presentation screen , the laptop/desktop used to create the presentation and across video conferencing software such as goto meeting that can screen share a presentation.

While the advanced software controls are not as yet available on Android and Linux, the basic forward, back and start/stop functions are supported. The system is being updated on a regular basis for new software functionality, so these features may be added in the future.

In the several weeks we have used the unit, the setup and use was very intuitive. The programming of gesture functions for volume and video control was also easy to do without external instructions.

The highlight graphics can be toggled between the 3 modes with a double click of a button. The top button of the three activates the highlight function. After using the presenter for 1-2 slides, the use of advancement and highlight without having to look at the remote became natural and comfortable. The machined aluminum housing of the unit also provided a cooling touch to the hand. For users who are nervous, the cooling touch is calming.

The magnify and spotlight features are strong tools for those working in content creation.  They allow for in-image review of graphics without having to resize/zoom/refresh the images on the screen.  In applications where the image itself is large and would require multiple screen shots to incorporate into a presentation, the use of the spotlight presenter lets the designer load a single high resolution PDF or graphic image, and talking about features, changes and corrections, and bring the details to others in the room as well as at remote sites.

An optimized use is in office environments where the presenter has to alternate sitting and standing. It is usable in both use cases without adjustment and from any place in the room. The presenter has a 100 ft range from the computer that has the presentation software. For crowded offices, the presenter comes in multiple colors – Gold, and exclusive Apple Store Silver and Slate.

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