Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Why the Overhead Projector is Obsolete

I don't think that I made such a controversial claim. Then again, I don't really know how many people still use overhead projectors. In any case, the reason why I say that the overhead projector is obsolete is because there is an alternative that serves its same purpose better in various ways. In particular, I'm referring to what is called a docucam (aka: Document Camera). These are the ways in which the overhead projector is obsolete compared to the docucam.

- I just picked out an overhead projector and docucam that are close to the same price. Here are links from Amazon for each the overhead projector and docucam. Check out the dimensions for the overhead projector and do the same for the docucam. The overhead projector has the following dimensions: 28.2 height x 20.2 depth x 13.2 width in inches. The docucam has the following dimensions: 10.1 height x 8.5 depth x 3.6 width in inches. To top if off, the overhead projector is 17 lbs and the docucam is only 4 ounces!. That's a huge difference in both the space they take up and how much each of them weigh. 

- The docucam is a camera. The overhead projector is just a projector. It only makes images appear smaller or larger. The docucam has color. Also, the docucam does not need to be manually focused as an overhead projector does. Why? Because cameras (including docucams) have auto focus. Further, if need be, docucams also have zoom like a digital camera.  

- My view is that this is the way in which docucams are the most versatile. For overhead projectors, you can only display something if it has been transferred onto a transparency. That is not true for docucams. A docucam can display whatever can be placed under it. You don't need a transparency. From bug to textbook or whatever else it is that you want to display under the docucam. You can display it.

- This is one aspect that I cannot necessarily argue on the side of docucams for. Like an overhead projector, docucams can also make images appear larger. However, an overhead projector already has its own way to project images. A docucam does not. In order for a docucam to present images larger than they appear, you must have a projector for it to be connected to. That is at least another $100 - $200. So, you should expect to pay a little more to fully utilize a docucam. Other than the price, those are all the ways in which the overhead projector is obsolete compared to the docucam.

Finally, below you will find some pics to give you an idea of how a docucam works:

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