Back in February, we were contacted and offered a chance to review something from Airtame, a hardware company in Europe. We weren’t really sure what to expect with the product, and I must admit that I hadn’t heard of them previously.
Just a quick summary of the Airtame 2 would be helpful here. The device is a wireless HDMI disc that allows users to download a desktop/mobile app and then instantly display your screen onto anything with an HDMI port. In most cases, that would be a TV. In addition to a wireless HDMI device, it also acts as a way for multiple people on the same wireless to connect at any given time. Meaning that a company could have multiple people connect to a presentation screen without ever leaving their chair.
When we received the device, we were struck by the simplicity of design. It is a clean ‘hockey puck’ shape that mounts to the back of whatever you are displaying on. It’s sleek and clean, and hides well behind TVs. The instructions to setup were rather simple. We weren’t sure if we were going to use a laptop or a Samsung device to display from, but we landed on a laptop. We just needed to download a native app, plugin the device, and it connected automatically.
Once the device was connected to Airtame, we could connect all or part of our screen to be displayed on the TV. There is no lag, and the quality of the projection is just as strong as the laptop quality. What’s nice about a device like this is that it replaces the clunky HDMI cable that not only limits an individual to the length of the cord, but also limits the collaboration of groups. Being able to switch around to different devices and different people instantly was a powerful and trans-formative feature that made company meetings much more pleasant and efficient.
What’s also nice about this product is the simplicity of the software as well. The interface is clean and straight-forward, allowing for minimal confusion and a quick adaption. You can imagine the potential difficulties with the wide variety of technical skill-sets in an office or school environment. But it seems like the company thought of this and kept their UI clean and straight forward.
If I had one piece of criticism, it would be that sometimes it took a few tries to connect my laptop to the device. After the initial connection, the problem seemed to happen on every future connect. It would fail once or twice before connecting, though other phones and laptops did not seem to have the same problem come up regularly. The good news is that it always did connect, so there was never a time when the laptop was unable to connect to the Airtame, only that it took a couple tries.
In short, the Airtame 2 is an elegant solution for schools and offices. It had always bothered me that most businesses I would walk into had 3 or 4 different cables for people to connect to and try and project their screen. This device is simple in it’s mission and it does what it’s supposed to do very well. It will be interesting to see where this company goes in the future, as this type of hardware technology has a host of different potential applications. In an ideal future, cords will be a thing of the past. Airtame is on the right path to the future.
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