It is an engineering fact that as a wireless data transmission medium, radio is far superior to infrared.
The two-way RF ReplyŽ technology that's used in the various audience voting and student response systems manufactured by Infowhyse is recognized by group response industry experts for the greater performance, flexibility, reliability, and range it provides compared to other RF and all IR systems.
Infrared keypads do not usually have an indicator to confirm to the user that their response was received by the base station.
IR is often an acceptable alternative for very small, fixed groups...but IR immediately becomes cumbersome when audience size increases and/or audience seating must be flexible. To set up a moderate-sized meeting room of, let's say, 200-300 people, an IR system requires numerous collectors/repeaters. Additionally, IR keypads must be placed in proximity to those collectors/repeaters with care since (1) barriers commonly disrupt IR transmission and (2) IR transmits data at an effective range of often no more than 50 feet.
Infrared is a line-of-sight device. Responses from IR keypads can potentially be "lost" when barriers to transmission exist or when the IR keypad is too far from its receiver (think of your TV controller and how well it operates). IR keypads attempt to overcome their line-of-sight and range limitations by scattering multiple receivers and/or repeaters throughout the room. Most meeting services professionals in our industry haven't recognized the "daisy chaining" of receivers to be a reliable or attractive strategy to overcome the limitations of IR. That's because these professionals know they can't keep everyone still (to prevent common barriers to IR transmission like bodies, chairs, and stage materials) and/or the client can't tolerate bunches of infrared processors/repeaters placed in the audience's view.
Infrared is very limited in range. Light diffuses over distance, and the coded information may be abruptly lost if the signal is weak...even when the IR system "retries" its transmission (again, remember your TV controller). IR generally transmits data at an effective "first try" range of 30-50 feet.
Infrared keypads cost little to manufacture since IR technology is cheaper than radio technology. As a result, they could be an attractive solution...so long as they are being sold at a price commensurate with their lower value.
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