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Gadget Turns an iPad into a Document Camera

The Belkin Tablet Stage turns an iPad into a functional document camera for classroom presentations.
The Belkin Tablet Stage turns an iPad into a functional document camera for classroom presentations.

Belkin today unveiled a device, set to ship in March, that converts an iPad into a document camera for classroom presentations. A free companion iPad app, available now, provides whiteboard capabilities and wired and wireless video output for classroom presentations.

The Belkin Tablet Stage, pictured, is a stand that's compatible with most tablets, according to the company, including the iPad and iPad mini, with or without a case. It provides an adjustable mount that allows educators to alter the orientation of the iPad, adjust its angle (from flat to vertical), and adjust the device's height. It includes dual integrated LEDs for illumination, plus a stylus holder and optional surface mount.

The free software, called simply Stage, is an iOS app that provides document camera features and annotation capabilities. It uses the iPad's camera to capture live video and provides video output via wired connections to projectors or external displays or wireless connections via AirPlay. It also includes a label function for placing overlays over videos and a drawing function that allows users to annotate over the live video.

Other features include:

  • Ability to save labels;
  • Ability to save annotated graphics;
  • Background switching (video, stills, or canvas);
  • Multiple pen colors; and
  • Multiple pen widths

Belkin reported that it will release a new version of the software (version 1.1) Feb. 28 that provides enhanced features, including:

  • Support for recording video;
  • Ability to record all interactions; and
  • Ability to upload recorded sessions using YouTube EDU.

The Tablet Stage will be available in March for $199. The Stage 1.0 app is available now as a free download through the iTunes store. It requires iOS 5.0 or later.

Belkin is demonstrating the new technologies this week at the TCEA 2013 Convention & Exposition taking place Feb. 4 through 8 in Austin, TX.

Additional details will be available on Belkin's site.


About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidrnagel/ .