Little tools for big business

I recently had the chance to test out a couple pieces of electronics technology, and no they weren't the latest IP cameras. The business of our industry isn't simply cameras and card readers. It's also the sales process. The client meetings. The...


To connect to a computer, you'll need a VGA cable (the only drawback to the M1+ kit is that they didn't include it in the box), but you can also use the projector to connect to common video sources using A/V in cables. The M1+ doesn't support HD video resolutions, but it has plenty of resolution for showing a PowerPoint presentation to a small group. It can also connect to devices like the iPod/iPhone and the Zune.

There's a USB port and an SD card slot on the back of the projector, so you can simply plug in a thumb drive or SD card and display those files on the projector (if they're common image formats). It can also play videos directly from the thumb drive or the SD card using a native video player that supports many common codecs.

The brightness level of the projector seemed sufficient to project the image in a readable manner in a partially lit room, even when not using a specialized projector screen. Theoretically, you can get a a 100-inch image (measured diagonally), but you better have a very dark room for that.. The projector typically sells for around $300, and if you want to go even smaller, Aaxa sells the "Pico" projector which is about half the size of the already-quite-small M1+. Oh, and two final tips about these small projectors you can find on the market: The first tip is that they generally use LEDs, so the lifespan of the "bulb" doesn't even come into play. The second tip is that you might like to find one that can be used with a tiny tripod (like this tripod). The M1+ didn't allow this, and it was, quite frankly, hard to position correctly for the right display.

All in all, I haven't been as excited about the micro projector as I have been about the netbook, but if I was doing sales presentations regularly to small groups, and living on the road, I would undoubtedly be more excited.

Well, that's it for my foray into miniature technology to use in the security sales and systems installation part of the business. If there are products that you like that compete with these or that you find very useful as a security installer or security sales representative, please post them in the comments and tell us why.

-Geoff