The company received 50,000 orders for its new device at a trade show.
By ELISE McKEOWN SKOLNICK
YOUNGSTOWN -- A city company is turning heads at one of the world's largest audiovisual trade shows with the introduction of a 1-ounce software product used by educators.
Turning Technologies, located in the Youngstown Business Incubator on West Federal Street, unveiled its credit card-sized keypad for the classroom response industry at the InfoComm 2005 trade show in Las Vegas.
Turning Technologies received orders for 50,000 of its "Turning Point 2006" devices at the event, said Tony Deascentis, the company's vice president for marketing, during a Thursday telephone interview from the trade show.
Audiovisual providers have always been challenged by the complexities of audience response, he said.
"With the introduction of Turning Point 2006 what we've done is we've completely integrated audience response technology," Deascentis said. "We've made it plug and play, where you can actually plug a device right into the back of your laptop. It doesn't even need a power supply. Then you can use a true credit card-sized keypad to select your response and submit it to the presentation."
Cornering the keypads
Turning Technologies has received much attention for its keypad products. Sales & amp; Marketing Management Magazine highlighted the company's Turning Point product in November, and Gov. Bob Taft touted its technology during a visit to the business incubator.
Turning Point 2006 is similar to, but more sophisticated than, the keypads used on the "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" television show, Deascentis said.
Turning Technologies sells its keypads to primary and secondary schools and universities.
A teacher or professor asks a question, and students give answers using the keypads, Deascentis said. Also, if someone in the classroom doesn't understand the question, he can push a button and receive assistance.
Small and simple
The new Turning Point 2006 weighs just 1 ounce and has a battery life up to 200,000 questions.
"It has taken the whole concept of hardware usability to the next level of ease of use," Deascentis said.
Because of its size, shipping costs are cheaper, he said.
A base price for the software is $695 with each input device costing $35 to $89 each, depending on the quantity, Deascentis said.
The company moved to the Incubator about 3 1/2 years ago, and will relocate to a larger facility next to the Incubator when it is built sometime late next year.
"We're committed to being downtown," Deascentis said.
The company employs 32 workers and plans to grow, he said.
InfoComm 2005, which started Saturday and ends today, had displays from 725 technology exhibitors and more than 25,000 visitors.