Hey Folks! Another Project: Preview for you all! Today I'm previewing the WeKast presentation system by the WeKast team out of Tel Aviv. Many, many thanks to those folks for getting me a review unit. You can check them out at the links below:
Project Preview: WeKast Stick
So what is WeKast? To quote the Kickstarter, it's the only mobile-based professional presentation solution that completely eliminates the awkward set-up process while increasing mobility and engagement.
...To much for ya, huh? Well, it's essentially a wireless dongle that allows you to display your slideshow, powerpoint, demonstration, etc... directly from your smart device. No cables, laptops, or even WiFi necessary. It's pretty handy for those business meeting presentations where the WiFi just happened to go out- and guess who forgot their HDMI cord?
I got a review unit extremely fast; they informed me that they had shipped the unit on March 22nd, and I recieved the unit just three days later, on the 25th. So kudos to them in the shipping department.
My review unit camed enveloped in a soft velvet bag, secured with drawstrings. Each individual part of the kit had a plastic sleeve protecting it, and the WeKast Stick itself was secured in bubble wrap. So there was no chance of the good ol' USPS busting up this shipment.
I was surprised (in a good way) at how many accessories the review unit came with. Keep in mind, however, that many of these parts will be integrated into the final product and won't actually be included as seperate attachments. But anyway, here's what I got:
-1x WeKast Stick
-1x 6000 mAh Portable Battery
-1x Female/Female HDMI Connector
-1x Female HDMI/Female VGA Adapter
-1x Micro USB Cable
-WeKast and Battery Instruction Manual
A bunch of goodies included. Again, most of this will be integrated into the final product, so you won't need to attach all the external gadgetry. But this is a review unit, so the design and asthetics are NOT final.
The WeKast is a smooth-looking little stick. Wrapped in matte black plastic, it is sparse of any decoration save the sticker on either side with the WeKast logo. (Actually, there's a enterprise option on the Kickstarter to order WeKasts with your own logo.) The HDMI plug is covered by a plastic cap made of the same material.
To set up my stick, I plugged the WeKast into my TV using the provided HDMI adapter. I then plugged the power pack into the stick via the back microUSB port. As soon as the power is plugged in, the stick automatically boots on.
To me, the WeKast is a pretty well-built product. The casing doesn't feel too flimsy (although I haven't, nor would I recommend, putting a lot of pressure on it.) The need for an external battery limits its potability slightly, but again, this just a TEST model. The stick is powered by a quad-core processor, meaning that your presentation will always be snappy and quick to load.
The WeKast software is fairly simple and easy to use. It's built upon Android 4.4, and you'll actually notice this when the Android logo appears momentarily during setup.
In order to use the WeKast, you need three pieces of software to make things happen: First, you'll need a PowerPoint Presentation creation app. (Pretty obvious that you would have one if you're purchasing this device.) Secondly, you need the WeKast add-on button for PowerPoint. This installs into the PowerPoint app, and allows you to convert and send your slides and presentation files to your phone through your phone number. I found this method of file transfer a little odd, but just think of it as texting yourself the files. Finally, you'll need the WeKast app.
The WeKast app is SUPER simple. When you first enter the app, if you don't have any files, there's literally nothing to do or click, beside refreshing the page. (Although I do love the loading screen for the app, with its little flaming-logo animation.)
Once you have some files inside the app, you're ready to hook up to the WeKast stick itself. On Android and Windows Phone, this process automatically happens. On iOS, (I was) it may or may not automatically connect. If it doesn't, you have to go into the Internet Connections setting of your phone and connect to the "WeKast" network.
And now you're ready to rumble! You can load a presentation, set it to auto-scroll through the slides, and even add notes to each slide. It's pretty amazing.
Overall, the WeKast system is an incredibly helpful tool for any business who wants an easy, fluid way to present their information. As the Kickstarter continues and hopefully suceeds, it'll be interesting to see how the WeKast evolves and is formed into an even better product.
And that's the show! Be sure to check out the Kickstarter and donate to that. If you want to spend even more money, consider donating to the SHARD Labs GoFundMe!
Otherwise, have a great rest of your April!