Wireless display technology is no longer a niche technology for early adopters. In the consumer space several solutions are commonly available, such as AirPlay, Miracast, WiDi, and Chromecast. Interoperability and cross-platform support is fairly limited, but these solutions are getting consumers used to the idea of wireless display technology.
When we step into the workplace, the need for a wireless display solution is evident. Presenting in meetings is a daily sometimes hourly occurrence. With laptops getting thinner and lighter, the VGA connector has been jettisoned by PC makers. Unfortunately, the lack of a standardized replacement has left us with wide range of connectors: mini-VGA, HDMI, mini-HDMI, DisplayPort, mini-DisplayPort, and others. The first few minutes of many meetings is dedicated to just trying to connect to the projector as people look for the right dongle. It’s madness.
But it doesn’t need to be. Intel has recently released Intel® Pro Wireless Display technology (http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/architecture-and-technology/intel-pro-wireless-display.html), also known as Intel Pro WiDi. Designed to work with business laptops and 2 in 1s based on Intel Core vPro processors, Pro WiDi delivers a business-class wireless display experience combining meeting management tools with the security and manageability IT departments require.
Pro WiDi offers three meeting modes. The first is an exclusive mode that only allows one presenter. Once you have connected to the projector no one else can connect to it or interrupt your presentation. The second mode allows people to request permission to present. When they want to present, you receive a pop-up on your screen and can choose to either give them control or deny their request. The third mode allows multiple presenters to “pre-connect” and then this group of presenters can rapidly switch between one another without the confirmation pop-ups. It’s a fast and effective way to virtually pass the “VGA cable” around the table.
One concern with wireless displays at work is inadvertently connecting to the wrong screen and displaying information not intended for that audience. Conference rooms are often close together, so you could see several wireless displays when you are trying to connect. With Intel Pro WiDi when you connect to a display, Pro WiDi shows a confirmation screen on both the projector and your PC. If the wireless display in your conference room isn’t showing the confirmation screen, you know you have connected to the wrong room, however, the people in the other room only see the confirmation screen, not your content. Finally if you forget to disconnect after you’re done, there is an on screen indicator to remind you that you are still sharing your screen wirelessly.
Today you can purchase a Pro WiDi adapter (http://www.actiontec.com/323.html) that plugs into your existing conference room projector or flat panel via HDMI or VGA. Later this year you will have the option of purchasing projectors and flat panels with Pro WiDi built-in. You will also need a PC with an Intel Core vPro processor (https://www-ssl.intel.com/content/www/us/en/processors/vpro/core-processors-with-vpro-technology.html). In my next post, I’ll talk about some of the Intel Pro WiDi features specifically for IT.