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Intro to ARS

An audience response system (ARS) or personal response system (PRS) allows large groups of people to vote on a topic or answer a question.  
 
Typically ARS consists of 3 main components:
  • Keypad/clicker: the actual hardware input devices that are given to each participant/audience member
  • Base Station/Receiver: the receiver, or interface,  for the keypads to communicate with the computer 
  • Software: the program that organizes and displays data 
The combination of these 3 components allows the presenter to have limitless feedbacks from his audience.
 
 
Keypads range in multiple features.  Typically a keypad consists of selection keys that vary in numbers.  They can
range from having:
  • a yes or no keys  to
  • touchscreen display 
  • a full QWERTY keyboard  
The main function of the keypad is to give audience member the keys to select the answer choice for a typical question.  They can be true/false, yes/no, 1-4/a-d for multiple choice questions.  
 
These are the standard industry features for a typical keypad: wireless, 5 option keys, battery powered.  
Basic keypads such as the Reply Mini, and the Enjoy SIR117 are credit card sized with 5-6 answer/option keys. They are also wireless, using radio frequency (for Reply Mini) or infrared (for SIR117) technology.  
 
Higher end models of keypads consist of features such as an LCD display, touch screen with QWERTY keyboard, and more answer/option keys.
 
 
The base station acts as the receiver that connects the keypads to your computer.  It connects the same way a USB receiver connects a wireless mouse to your computer.  
 
One base station is able to connect multiple keypads to the same computer – the specific range of keypads changes but it is typically in the range of 200+ keypads per base station. 
 
The base station varies according to the model of the keypad.  
  • One model of a base station can work with multiple models of keypads or
  • Multiple model of keypads can work with the same model of base station.  

Specifically, the Reply CRS941 base station works with the Reply Mini and the Reply Worldwide keypad model – and the base station supports any combination of the 2 models up to 250 keypads at once.

 
The software is the organizer that collects and displays all the data.  Using the software, you ask a question (What is your favorite color?) and give answer choices (1.red, 2.blue, 3.green, 4.yellow) – the audience members select their choice from the 4 colors.  The software will track and display the results.  
 
There are many other features that are supported by ARS software such as:
  • roster/teams: so you can divide up your audience into groups and assign them keypads to track their results/votes 
  • points: so you can designate correct answers for multiple choice tests and give your audience a score
  • timers: so you can limit how long your audience has to answer/vote for a question 
  • games: so you can entertain your audience while engaging them at the same time
  • auto save and backup functionality: so you never loose all the results and data collected from your presentations
 
ARS offers the best solution and flexibility to get instant feedback from your audience. It is used in:
  • company shareholder meetings to select new policies 
  • game shows such as Who Wants to be a Millionaire when asking the audience for help
  • In school classroom for taking attendances to conducting tests
  • and more

 

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