What is a Visualizer?
Visualizers or document cameras as they are often referred to as are electronic imaging tools for displaying 3D objects, artwork, printed material or live subjects. In its most primitive form, a Visualizer is essentially a "camera on a stick!"
Visualizers are a very effective medium to channel the real world into your classroom, boardroom, training room, video conference suite or courtroom, utilizing visual display technology such as a computer, LCD, plasma, projector or CRT monitor.
Visualizers allow for small or large audiences to see details which would be impossible to see either due to the limitation of the subject size, the remoteness of the subject being viewed, and the human eye. Visualizers have been specifically designed to allow easy use and aid in facilitating collaboration between peers and colleagues. They are exceptionally valuable in helping people absorb and maintain information through visual display technology. Visualizers are perfect for;
- Courtroom Evidence
- Broadcast studios
- Video conferencing
- Science Labs
- Dental Labs
- Medical Research
Visualizers vs. Overhead Projectors
Throughout the twenty first century, there has been an explosion of technological change. This can be characterized by the development of computers and most noticeably visual presentation products. The Visualizer is no exception and has emerged out of its predecessor, the overhead projector (OHP). Unlike overhead projectors, transparencies, prepared slides or vu-foils are not required for Visualizers. Visualizers or document cameras are not restricted to only documents. They can display various 3D objects in which an OHP would only be able to display a shadow rather than a detailed image. Many of the original OHP transparencies can still be used by Visualizers. This function has been further strengthened by the integration with video conferencing, interactive whiteboards, touch screens and telemedicine systems.
The late 1980s saw a considerable decline in the popularity of overhead projectors. To counter the declining popularity, Visualizers were introduced simultaneously by two companies, Elmo and Wolfvision. Elmo Co. Ltd., of Nagoya Japan had been developing there EV-308 visual presenter. Wolfvision had been developing their "visual overhead" and in 1988 Photokina saw the introduction of both units.
Display technology paved the way for Visualizers as they depend so heavily on displays to complete their purpose. Analog video output was the norm in the early days of Visualizers. As digital display technology developed, so has the connectivity of Visualizers. XGA (1024 x 768) resolution output is used today alongside composite video and s-video.
Today visualizers are interacting with interactive hardware and communication devices such as video conferencing, permitting communicators to convey their subject matter with greater impact. Collaboration is facilitated on a local and global scale as Visualizers help to provide efficient and extremely timely decision making by creating a far greater degree of information retention and help to deliver information to audience's world wide.