Electronics

Wireless WeKast offers alternative solution to awkward laptop presentations

WeKast doesn't require internet access, so users need not worry about restricted, unreliable, or nonexistent wireless networks
WeKast doesn't require internet access, so users need not worry about restricted, unreliable, or nonexistent wireless networks
View 4 Images
The WeKast mobile app handles the launch and remote control of content to be presented
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The WeKast mobile app handles the launch and remote control of content to be presented
WeKast plugs into any HDMI or VGA port (e.g. TVs, projectors) and connects to smartphones for delivering PowerPoint presentations
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WeKast plugs into any HDMI or VGA port (e.g. TVs, projectors) and connects to smartphones for delivering PowerPoint presentations
WeKast doesn't require internet access, so users need not worry about restricted, unreliable, or nonexistent wireless networks
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WeKast doesn't require internet access, so users need not worry about restricted, unreliable, or nonexistent wireless networks
No data is stored on the WeKast dongle itself, and communication is encrypted through a secure connection
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No data is stored on the WeKast dongle itself, and communication is encrypted through a secure connection

Whether presenter or presentee, many of us have sustained minutes of stinging silence as human and machine grapple to cooperate. Such is the cliche of pairing laptops with projectors for the purpose of narrating PowerPoint slides in a somewhat restless room. But a new, pocket-sized adapter may replace all those hassles with smart simplicity. The WeKast is designed to be plug and play, instantly casting presentations from a mobile device without the need of Wi-Fi, cables, or a laptop.

Wireless HDMI cast devices have been out for a few years. We've seen the Apple TV and have reviewed Google's Chromecast, the Roku Streaming Stick, and Amazon's Fire TV Stick. Each are useful and powerful in their own right – at least when it concerns home media and entertainment. Although possible to use such devices for professional boardroom presentations, the process may end up more time-consuming and complicated than not.

Unlike those other wireless adapters, WeKast is designed with the business market in mind. Simply plug WeKast into any HDMI or VGA port (e.g. TVs, projectors), connect a smartphone or tablet via mobile app (available for Android and iOS), and then select any presentation to start. Since WeKast provides its own Wi-Fi and doesn't require internet access, users won't need to worry about restricted, unreliable, or nonexistent wireless networks.

The WeKast mobile app handles the launch and remote control of content to be presented. With smartphone in hand, users can more openly engage audiences than by leaning over a laptop. Files are meant to be uploaded onto mobile devices first, be it from a computer, Google Drive, or Dropbox account. No data is stored on the WeKast dongle itself, and communication is encrypted through a secure connection.

No data is stored on the WeKast dongle itself, and communication is encrypted through a secure connection
No data is stored on the WeKast dongle itself, and communication is encrypted through a secure connection

A built-in battery lets WeKast operate for up to three hours before needing to recharge. Users can also power the palm-sized device by plugging it into a USB port with a standard micro USB cable. WeKast supports embedded video (with sound when connected by HDMI) in a range of resolutions, automatically scaling images to fit screens (up to 1080p). The internal memory and CPU are designed to maintain framerate and high video quality regardless of network condition.

Currently, only PowerPoint (ppt/pptx) files are supported by WeKast. However, the company has plans to integrate additional formats (PDF, doc, xls, Keynote, and more) and animation types through app updates.

The WeKast plug & cast device is currently funding on Kickstarter, having raised 26 percent of its US$50,000 goal in two days, with another 47 days left to go. Pledges start as low as $99 for a single unit.

Although the final prototype may be subject to minor changes to optimize for mass production, the design is pretty much set. If tooling, quality control, and manufacturing go according to plan, backers can expect shipments of WeKast to start as early as January, 2017.

Sources: WeKast, Kickstarter

3 comments
NoemieAlliel
Thanks Stanley for a well written article! Loved the headline. Would love to get feedback from your audience!
christopher
Seems worse than not using it at all. Half the problem is sorting out the AV equipment itself (eg: 3 podium inputs - which one to use?) so if this even worked (and it won't) the best it could solve is half the problem. But this won't work, because it uses its own wifi, which means all your devices will not have internet access anymore. In case nobody realizes what this means: google the word "cloud". Everything today is connected and online. If you don't have working internet for your presentation, that's because you are a dinosaur about to go extinct from your own ineptitude. Everyone who's actually from this century and doing presentations is going to need working internet, they won't be able to use this, because nothing I know of can connect to 2 different wifis simultaneously, and nothing else can use 3G and wifi at the same time either.
NoemieAlliel
@Christopher: While it is true that a phone cannot be connected to more that one wifi network, it does not mean that it cannot be connected to the internet while it is connected to the WeKast dongle. We would be more than happy to demo our solution to expand your knowledge about new and innovative technologies. Our goal here is to help people with their presentations need.
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