I must admit to being impressed when a technology works well, but even more impressed when it works well with so little effort that it is nearly invisible.
And, as a presenter, I’m impressed with the potential of Airplay – the wireless network streaming system built into the AppleTV, the Mac under OSX Lion, and the iOS devices like iPhone and iPad.
I have an AppleTV attached to an HDMI input on my living room flat panel. In any video or presentation program, I can send the active window or my whole screen to the monitor, with a single click on the airplay icon. No configuration, no addressing, and multiple units can be used at once. And, interestingly enough for me, being a longtime proponent of the fact that wired systems are more dependable than wireless, I use it a lot, simply because it is so effortless.
And an interesting observation: It does something wired systems don’t, namely allowing me to send the window of a single program to the display, rather than just the entire screen. This lets me much more easily use the outputs of different programs at different points in the presentation, while keeping them all open for my own reference on the screen of my laptop.
A “home” or “consumer” technology, with built-in limitations? Sure. But it points the way to a significant portion of the future.
And it walks like a duck.