Things to Consider When Choosing Your ARS Keypad

This is a list of things to consider when you are choosing your ARS hardware.  They are the main features of the physical keypad.  Choosing the right keypad is important because you cannot change the features of a keypad.  These features are not listed in order of importance:

  1. Size – This should depend on your event.  If you are holding an event in an auditorium where the audience remains seated, a large keypad may not be an inconvenience.  If you are holding an event in which the audience has to move frequently, a smaller keypad may be convenient for portability.  A larger keypad is easier to keep track of in case of a loss.  But smaller keypads are also easier to store and transport between presentation sites/events.
  2. Number of Choices (Keys) – This should depend on how many answer choices you want for your questions in your presentations.  Some keypads only support 5 or less answer choices, while other keypads support over 20 choices per question. Generally speaking the keypads with fewer choices are cheaper.  This is why the number of keys or options is important.
  3. Additional Keys (Soft Keys) – This depends on whether or not you want separate functions other than the norm.  For example, you might want a text messaging function where the buttons on the keypads allow you to erase or type messages.  They also open up possibilities for extra functions like changing or recalling your inputs.  The more features and functions added the more the price increase.
  4. Display – This is a status indicator, which shows the name of the keypad holder, the keypad number, texts from the presenter, and other primary settings.  The display opens more fields to the keypad.  For example, some keypads allow you to change settings, such as channels, IDs and addresses.  But having a display also increases the price of the keypad.
  5. Wireless – This is the current standard for keypads.  The wireless allows keypads to transmit data to a receiver without the use of a cable or wire, thus reducing the amount of clutter in your meeting environment.  This is useful for when you are running presentations for a large meeting and cuts down on the set up time.  As an industry standard all current keypads are wireless thus a non-factor on cost.  It is quite difficult to find out of production wired keypads.
  6. Battery –Coin-cell batteries are much lighter than standard AA or AAA batteries.  You should also consider battery life.   Longer battery lives reduce the amount of times you have to change out the batteries on your keypad cutting down the maintenance.  As a standard batteries last around 12 months with standard usages.
  7. Capacity (Per Base Station) –This should depend on how many keypads you plan to use.  A base station which supports a larger amount of keypads allows you to control all of those keypads with one base station instead of multiple base stations.