We’re used to seeing images of thronging trading floors with investors in sharp suits glancing between multiple screens as share prices rise and fall by the second. And if you visit a television production suite, you’d expect to see producers staring at multiple TV monitors. While these are perhaps stereotypes of buzzy workplace environments, they do highlight the value of working with more than one monitor.
The use of multiple computer screens is becoming much more widespread and is now a common feature of many offices. With working practices centred around computers and the Internet, more and more companies across a range of industry sectors are learning the value of dual and multiple monitors in easing workload management and increasing efficiency.
Indeed, a recent study by Jon Peddie suggested that workers feel they now need a multi-display system and believe having more screen space for their desktop applications would greatly increase their productivity levels. And they’re not the only ones: a significant number of recent studies have demonstrated that adding a second or a third monitor to a workstation helps boost productivity by up to 50 per cent thanks to the wide-screen effect that allows you to have more applications open simultaneously.
“Having two screens really helps if you need to cross reference between several documents,” said Nicola Bates, Connect It & Optimise It product manager at Kensington Europe. “You can simply drag your mouse from one screen to the next to move between applications. It’s invaluable if you want to use the Internet and also keep an eye on your emails. Multiple monitors save switching between different applications – something that is both time-consuming and disruptive to the flow of your work.”Content can be split across monitors either by using internal graphics cards or proprietary manufacturer’s docks. However, if these tools are not available, using a USB port is an easy and flexible solution that works with every computer…
Kensington is launching a new Dual Monitor Adapter to simplify the process of installing a second screen. In the past, companies have been discouraged from introducing multiple screens because of the complications in configuring the two. However, with Kensington’s new product, the user simply connects the monitor cable to the Dual Monitor Adapter, then plugs it into the USB port of the computer.
“Using the Kensington Adapter, the two monitors will connect seamlessly, allowing you to get started with your second screen with no complications,” said Bates. “Basically, it means you won’t need IT know-how to be able to take advantage of the productivity benefits a second monitor can bring.”
Kensington’s docks are universally compatible (with any brand of computer and monitor) as they use the USB port, which also makes them ‘plug and play’. Once the software is installed (version for PCs and Macs are available) users can easily connect their notebooks to PCs to a dock and toggle between ‘Dual monitor’ and ‘Clone’ modes at the touch of a button.
Kensington’s Dual Monitor adapter embodies the company’s smart made simple philosophy. With credit card dimensions it is extremely portable. Users just plug one end into their notebook and the other to a monitor (DVI/VGA connector included).
The Sd200v has a vertical form factor to minimise its footprint, offers video playback and five additional USB ports. It also has the capacity to allow multiple users to use the same dock and keep their preferred monitor settings each time they connect their notebook to the dock.
According to a study by Microsoft, one of the biggest obstacles to providing dual monitors for the workforce is the lack of desktop space. And this is a pretty valid point. In most established offices, providing extra space for a second screen simply isn’t an option.
Kensington has addressed this concern by creating a dual monitor arm. It is designed to allow users to benefit from a wider horizontal viewpoint, without cluttering the desk or absorbing precious space.
The Dual Monitor Arm secures two monitors at the same level and can be adjusted to suit the height of the worker. The device can support a normal desktop monitor screen as well as a laptop, so you can connect one to the other for maximum efficiency. In addition to the productivity benefits of a second screen, it also helps improve desktop ergonomics, keeping the screens at the right height to avoid neck and shoulder problems from bending to see the screen properly.
So a second monitor is not just for traders and geeks: it can bring real productivity benefits to information workers in all industries. And a second screen doesn’t need to mean minimising your desk space or craning your neck to view documents: with the right technology to support the monitors and connect them, it’s easy to get started and immediately take advantage of the increased productivity benefits a second screen can bring.