Presentations and pointing with lasers

Presentation controllers are cool gadgets but when they have lasers built in they become even cooler

Every now and then a company appears that makes a slew of cool products. The latest of these is Satechi, which I think should use the tag line "purveyors of fine gadgets." Satechi just sent me a few very cool items and in a couple of weeks I shall review their remarkable Wireless Mini Router/Repeater. Today, I have two of their presentation controllers, both of which include laser pointers.

Warning: Lasers are Awesome

Hyperbolic Upgrade Stickers produced by Wondermark

Allow me to digress because, speaking as we are of lasers, you have to check out the set of eight Hyperbolic Upgrade Stickers produced by Wondermark and sold for $12.50. These all look, at first glance, like real warning labels, and one of my favorites reads "WARNING / Lasers are Awesome." Gearhead rating? 5 out of 5, natch.

[ STUDY: Laser pointers produce too much energy, pose risks for the careless ]

The first Satechi presentation gadget is the X-Pointer Mobile Presenter, a tiny, cylindrical laser pointer that plugs into the headphone port on an iPhone or iPad. To switch it on and off you need to install the free X-Presenter app, but wait! That's not all it does! When you install the companion host app (available for Windows and OS X), you can control presentation software such as Keynote or PowerPoint! And the X-Pointer comes with a stylus touch pen that the pointer fits inside of for storage.

Satechi X-Pointer Mobile Presenter

Satechi X-Pointer Mobile Presenter and stylus touch pen

The Satechi X-Pointer Mobile Presenter, priced at $39.99 (currently on sale for $29.99), is a handy tool to have in your pocket in case you suddenly need to do a presentation or point at things with a laser, and gets a Gearhead rating of 5 out of 5.

On the other hand, you could go a little more upmarket with Satechi's Bluetooth Smart Pointer and Remote Control, which is a laser pointer as well as a multimedia controller (it works with Keynote and PowerPoint and Apple TV 3) that can also can remotely control an iOS camera and can activate Siri (so she can misunderstand you remotely).

Satechi Bluetooth Smart Pointer and Remote Control

Credit: Satechi

Satechi Bluetooth Smart Pointer and Remote Control

Because the Satechi Bluetooth Smart Pointer and Remote Control supports Bluetooth 3.0 HID it will work with iPhone 5/4S/4/3GS, iPad Mini/3/2/1, iPod Touch 4G/3G, MacBook Pro/Air, iMac, Mac Mini, and all other Bluetooth-enabled Apple products and other Bluetooth-enabled computers.

The Smart Pointer has a switch on the side with positions for multimedia mode, accessibility mode and presentation mode, and the cover slides down to reveal numeric keys, a button to start Bluetooth pairing, a return key, and a key to show and hide the iOS keyboard.

Allow me to digress again, because I've recently noticed a trend among vendors of Bluetooth devices to make "pairing" as simple as possible. To that end many manufacturers now require only "0000" to be entered as the pairing security code or even nothing at all. Satechi, curiously, bucks this trend and pairing requires a eight-digit code (you enter it via the built-in keys and return key after the host computer displays the code).

This is a great presentation controller and it's also one of the very few that makes it easy to use an iPad for presentations. Priced at $59.99 (currently reduced to $44.99) the Satechi Bluetooth Smart Pointer and Remote Control gets a Gearhead score of 5 out of 5.

Gibbs is in Ventura, Calif. Your comments to gearhead@gibbs.com and follow him on Twitter and App.net (@quistuipater) and on Facebook (quistuipater). And check out the Predictions Blog.

To comment on this article and other Network World content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter stream.
Related:
Must read: Hidden Cause of Slow Internet and how to fix it
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.