FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
Answers to questions abour Reply® Wireless Interactive Technology, and more - straight from the horse's mouth.
We know wireless technology
Your resource of answers to some commonly (and a few uncommonly) asked questions about Reply® products and services.
Click on any question below to Link to the answer.
Looking to vote with your Smartphone ?
Use your Smartphone as a voting device?
Bring-Your-Own-PAD allows meeting participants to use
their own Smartphones or Tablets.
Absolutely. Reply® works in several different configurations depending on your needs.
These configurations vary according to the degree to which you want PowerPoint* to actively control the presentation and manage a PC's Com or Ethernet ports (versus the degree to which a purpose built Reply®–enabled application would talk to PowerPoint and manage a PC's available ports).
PowerPoint Control Solution
The advantage of this technique is that you can capitalize on your PowerPoint skills and content. Additionally, the user interface is familiar. The disadvantage, however, is that PowerPoint isn't optimized as a multimedia device control application.
Reply®-compliant Software Control Solution
The advantage of this technique is that the application controlling the wireless keypads is designed specifically for that purpose. The application is also designed to manage various devices external to the PC. The disadvantage, however, is that you must learn and use a different user interface.
Let's look at a few of the configurations available from which you may choose a solution that best meets your needs:
The first configuration is a seamless "add in" to PowerPoint that modifies the underlying code of the application to create an integrated interface between PowerPoint software and the wireless keypad system. This configuration adds pull down menu bars to the application so that (1) question design occurs seamlessly during normal PowerPoint slide editing and (2) multiple response graphing options can be accessed during PowerPoint slide viewing. This configuration is popular among PowerPoint users because of the seamless integration with not only PowerPoint slides but also with other Office applications (Excel and Word, which are used for reporting and data analysis functions). This is the top selling PowerPoint solution.
The second configuration available uses a "control" or "object" that is embedded into a PowerPoint slide. Simple bar graphs are possible, but custom graphs and demographic cross tabulation are generally not available. This configuration is useful and inexpensive, but it is not as simple and seamless as the first configuration (i.e., an 'add-in').
The third configuration lets each application perform the jobs for which it was originally designed. PowerPoint handles slide content, and the Reply® application handles com ports and response graphs. Reply® application graphics packages are virtually identical to PowerPoint, so that transitions from one application to the other are often seamless. Moreover, the Reply® application can control the PowerPoint presentation for ease of use. This is often the implementation used by audio-visual professionals in high risk meetings or special events.
If you would like information on any of these solutions, please Contact us.
*PowerPoint, Office, Excel, and Word are registered trademarks of the Microsoft Corporation
Yes. Custom keyboards and logo decals or membranes are available in minimum quantity purchases. This cost is in addition to the normal cost of the wireless keypad.
Since these special keyboards and labels are purchased 'bulk', the cost per custom item varies according with the size of the order. The style of customization also influences price. Here's how.
To provide the most distinctive product differentiation, you can replace the entire keyboard with another one that's lithoed with different key symbols, colors, customer logos, etc. However, this will be the most expensive option.
A more affordable alternative is available on systems like the Reply® Interact Series. A custom designed membrane -- either provided by Infowhyse or locally sourced by the customer -- can be applied within the display's cut-out area. Such private branding is relatively inexpensive in small quantities. That makes it affordable for purchase as well as special event rental uses.
Without exception, all bulk purchased custom items must be prepaid. This is because they are unique to the buyer. Also, be aware that there is naturally a lead time for such customization.
First, you will need to find out the setting in which your customer intends to use the system (e.g., training, focus group, executive planning, employee survey, etc.). Next, you will need to know the outcomes that they expect the system to produce in such a setting (e.g., live response graphs, student scoring and record keeping, decision analysis, X-Y/opportunity plots, statistics, etc.). Then, armed with that information, we invite you to Contact Us.
Based on your customer's needs, we will propose a 'system' solution consisting of response application software that produces the required presentation graphics, results charts, and data records. This 'system' solution would be purchased from one of Infowhyse's Tier I dealers.
Our Tier I dealers are appointed by Infowhyse to write application software for the products we manufacture. They sell and rent audience response keypad systems, as well as provide system training and technical services. More importantly, they are factory-appointed to qualify and support our Tier II resellers.
As a Tier II reseller, you could qualify to buy the system from a Tier I dealer at a discount commensurate with the value of the opportunity, your involvement in servicing the client after the sale, and your future commitment to promote audience response technology to existing/new clients.
But if making a future business of promoting the our products isn't just what you're ready for at this moment, please know that we're still eager to support your customer's needs...and make it profitable for you to be involved in the sale.
Regardless of whether you become a Tier II reseller or just want to facilitate (and, of course, profit from) a one-time sale, we're very interested in supporting you and your customer. Please fill out the Request Information form, and we'll be happy to respond with an appropriate recommendation.
A Tier I factory-direct relationship requires your commitment to maintain sales and technical support staff for the products we authorize you to resell. It also ties your per-order purchase to an established volume discount method.
If you'd like to resell Reply® systems without meeting all of the qualifications to become a factory reseller, we recommend that you become an affiliate of one of our Tier I resellers. If you're not in the day-to-day business of selling and renting the technology we manufacture, such a Tier II relationship is a flexible way to access Reply® hardware at generously discounted prices.
Also, as a Tier II, you have access to our software developer tool kits (i.e., APIs) so that you can, if you desire, write your own custom application instead of purchasing commercially available products. Our Tier I resellers are authorized to sell Reply® API tool kits to their affiliates and customers.
A word of advice: You may find that some of our Tier I's are willing to modify their software applications to meet your unique needs. We recommend that you evaluate their willingness and price before making your investment in your programmers and our API.
Feel free to Contact Us. if you would like to discuss our requirements for a factory-direct relationship or want a recommendation to one of our resellers.
Since Reply® technology is 'open architecture', there are numerous businesses developing and selling application software for use with Infowhyse-produced audience response products.
These Reply®–compliant software applications vary in features according to their intended use. For example, some applications emphasize student management and scoring functions for classroom training. Other applications excel in custom graphics and animation for presentations, demographic analysis for market research, or modeling for strategic analysis and planning.
We've posted PDFs on this website that describe some of the more popular applications available for your consideration. Please note that this is only a partial list. Because there are many more choices available, we encourage you to Contact Us. To receive personal assistance in identifying a proper software for your needs.
If you are interested in custom membranes, please fill out the Request Information Form.
It is an engineering fact that as a wireless data transmission medium, radio is far superior to infrared.
The two-way RF Reply® 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.
Reply®'s two-way RF design allows each keypad to (1) send responses to the base station and (2) receive a message (a/k/a an acknowledgement) from the base station that the keypad's entry was accepted. Reply® keypads, have visual indicators to confirm both the user's entry as well as the base station's confirmation to the user that the entry was absolutely received.
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.
Reply® uses a single base station that can process responses of up to 1500 radio keypads per base station located up to 500 feet distant (Note: Maximum capacity per base station and range depends on model. See Product Information for specifications.). Up to 15 base stations can be combined to increase maximum audience size per room to 22,500 (Again: Depends on model). But what's remarkable is that all you need to do is place the base station in the room, connect it to your laptop, pass out Reply® keypads, and you're ready to poll.
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.
Reply® radio keypads are free to move around large and/or populated meeting rooms without fear of encountering range or barrier limitations. The patented RF design ensures votes are not "lost" as in some cases common to IR. Additionally, all base stations and antennas may be hidden from 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.
Reply® keypads can transmit and receive data on the "first try" when located 150-500 feet from the base station (Note: Range varies according to model). This range usually doubles when the base station is elevated and centered on the audience, and even greater range is possible when optional gain antennas are substituted for the standard omnidirectional whip antennas. That means Reply® systems can cover an area of 90,000-250,000 square feet (Again: Depends on model).
Infrared keypads cost less 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.
Reply® is attractive because it offers superior meeting performance at an affordable price. Considering all of the product's advantages noted above, Reply® is the best value wireless system available to audience response and electronic voting markets today.
All overseas sales are coordinated by Infowhyse's International Sales Managers from our European Headquarters near Frankfurt in Germany. Specification sheets are available from the Infowhyse; however, the remainder of presales information – such as needs analysis, application software specifications, system quotation, and delivery terms – will often be deferred to one of our regional Reply® Distributors.
Please note that export versions of the successful Reply® product line are engineered specifically to meet European and other international regulatory standards.
If you would like information on wireless audience response systems available in your region, please Contact Us.
In the USA, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates all electronic devices that generate radio frequency signals. Signals can be unintentionally radiated, as in the case of computer processors, power supplies, and other components that generate radio energy. Signals can also be intentionally radiated, as in the case of Reply® wireless response systems sending two-way radio signals between keypads and their assigned base stations.
All of these devices sold in the USA must carry proper FCC identifications. And low power wireless audience response systems like Reply® must certify that their operation (1) will not cause interference with other devices and (2) must accept interference by other devices. That's commonly referred to as Part 15 certification.
Before buying ANY electronic product -- response system or not -- you should ensure that the devices are, in fact, properly certified. Otherwise, you -- as the owner, lessee, and even temporary user -- could be subject to penalties for operating unapproved devices. These penalties can be as simple as fines but as severe as jail. So don't let someone tell you that they don't need Federal certification of their computer processors or radio frequency devices.
Q10. [Sales and Rentals] How do you sell your products?
Reply® systems are delivered to end users by Infowhyse's resellers. There are several kinds of resellers: OEMs, Master Dealers, Value Added Resellers (VARs), and Factory Authorized Resellers (FARs).
OEMs and Master Dealers: These are resellers that either contract with Infowhyse to design and produce an original product or purchase a high annual volume of systems for mass distribution. These resellers have their own networks of distributors, dealers, and/or trade affiliates.
VAR: This type of reseller regularly sells wireless audience response products by ‘adding’ commercial-quality, Reply®-compliant software applications they develop. Additionally, this type of reseller has been in the industry several years providing interactive training, research, and presentation services. Reply® products simply add additional value to the software applications and interactive services these dealers have been providing.
FAR: This type of Dealer is generally an established audio-visual company with significant regional presence. They are positioned across and serve a wide variety of markets, and the products and services they sell are significantly enhanced through the addition of Reply® systems. FARs regularly ‘bundle’ Reply® products with A/V equipment. Oftentimes, FARs have relationships with other regional audio-visual houses, providing those companies access to our products that they would not normally receive.
Systems Integrators, Contractors, Consultants: Infowhyse generally does not qualify these types of resellers or specifiers for a factory-direct relationship. That's because a factory relationship requires a commitment to routinely specify and sell our products. Instead, these occasional resellers are encouraged to contact Master Dealers, VARs, or FARs to establish a business-to-business relationship (which includes negotiating whatever discounted pricing is reasonable compensation for delivering/facilitating a specific business opportunity). In many instances, prospective resellers who partner with authorized Infowhyse resellers to sell and rent discover a very profitable business 'synergy'.
If you have any questions about the capability of the company or individual attempting to sell you one of our systems, please Contact Us.
There are two ways that you can rent Reply wireless audience response systems to energize your meeting and training programs: Do-it-yourself or Full-service.
What is Do-it-yourself?
'Do-it-yourself' means that you are responsible for managing all aspects of the interactive event. Reply is a simple and straightforward system, and you'll find few other things about planning and delivering a successful event as easy as using our hardware. We recognize, however, that 'do-it-yourself' is not for everyone since the responsibilities of preparation and technical support rest entirely with you.
You may rent equipment from a factory-authorized Reply® Dealer. Reply® Dealers will require that you formally contract with them for the interactive hardware (base stations and keypads) plus own or rent a copy of eligible application software. The balance of any items/services that you might require for your event would be your responsibility to coordinate, including things such as: designing and authoring your presentation; coordinating equipment delivery, installation, and return shipping; directing audio-visual support; facilitating the presentation; and performing post-meeting activities (debrief, reports, etc.).
If you have the time to properly oversee the project, and if you have a staff that is experienced in orchestrating this type of event, 'Do-it-yourself' could be a cost-effective option. However, if you're looking to limit your involvement but want to assure that the event will be successful, we strongly encourage you to use a 'Full Service' provider.
What is Full-service?
Most people rent interactive systems from a 'Full Service' meeting company. 'Full Service' means that you contract with a Reply® Dealer that specializes in this style of meeting services. The Dealer, then, is responsible for managing all aspects of preparing, installing, and operating the Reply® system. That's the main advantage of a full-service solution: the Dealer is your 'one-stop shop' for all hardware, software, and technical support.
If you choose full-service, you will negotiate with the Dealer directly. Infowhyse may recommend service providers from time to time; however, we cannot and do not offer any pricing estimates for their services. Please refer all inquiries to the Dealer.
If you don't have time to oversee the project, or your technical staff doesn't have the experience in staging and managing interactive meeting activities, then you should select the full-service option. Full-service requires much less of your effort, and it could be just the 'insurance' you want for a successful event.
How do I find a full-service provider?
You may already know one! Many people inquiring about rentals are from organizations that currently enjoy rental and preferred pricing relationships with one or more of our experienced Reply® service providers. So you may want to first check with your meeting planning or training team(s) to find out if they've ever used Reply® Wireless Audience Response Systems in the past.
If you don't know a Dealer, Infowhyse can refer you to one according to the following hierarchy:
the Dealer's presence in your organization (reason: to strengthen an existing client-vendor relationship);
the Dealer's familiarity with your organization's products/services (reason: to introduce and apply experience-based strategies);
the Dealer's proximity to your organization's presenters and/or planners (reason: to enhance program development and coordination); and, finally,
the Dealer's proximity to your event's geographic location (reason: to reduce the Dealer's chargeable travel and expenses).
Do your Dealers have equipment immediately available?
Absolutely! Many Reply® Dealers maintain individual rental inventories consisting of thousands of keypads. Additionally, Dealers can access the large inventory of rental equipment that is both stored and serviced at Infowhyse's factory. (Please note that Infowhyse exclusively rents this inventory to its Dealers for their use or subrental.)
What type of equipment is available?
We've been building Reply® for many years, so the versions of keypads owned by Dealers for their service use do vary according to features and 'look'. Additionally, some of our Dealers maintain multiple kinds of response systems, ranging from keypads with internal wireless microphones (for voice reinforcement) to those with full QWERTY keyboards and LCD displays (for alphanumeric messaging and response).
The type of equipment available may be important to you if you're trying to augment the Reply® equipment you own -- to match 'like' systems -- or if you're simply expecting that your event uses the 'latest and greatest' gear. In any instance, we encourage you to first check with the Dealer to verify what models and styles of our interactive equipment they offer. With that information in hand, we then invite you to compare it to the model numbers, pictures, and specifications presented within the Product Information section of this website. If you wish, you may also contact Infowhyse to see if the Dealer's offering includes current equipment.
What's my next step?
Inquiries about availability are appreciated and encouraged; however, inquiries do not reserve rental stock. You should promptly contact a Dealer and execute a rental contract to ensure item availability. Our advice: plan early!
Q12. [Regulatory Compliance] What are RoHS and WEEE, and how do those EU directives affect electronics products like Reply?
The European Union (EU) created environmental legislation in 2003 that restricts the use of certain hazardous substances in electronic equipment. This legislation took effect in July 2006. This directive is known as Regulation of Hazardous Substances (RoHS). The list of hazardous substances affected by the legislation includes Lead, Cadmium, Mercury, and Chromium. These substances are presently found in the vast majority of printed circuit boards as well as components placed on them.
Additionally, the EU enacted recycling legislation known as Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) to both conserve landfill area and support more sustainable development by providing an impetus to increase recycling. WEEE registration started August 2005.
US environmental legislation has followed suit. Similar to the EU initiatives, legislation regarding hazardous substances in electronic equipment has already been enacted in more than twenty US states.
All electronics manufacturers who sell their products are affected by these regulations. To better serve our valued customers and prospects, Infowhyse became an early adopter of the RoHS and WEEE directives.
For more information about our compliance activities, please contact our Sales Department.
Extremely well, mainly because our special circuit designs and proprietary radio protocols are thoughtfully designed for that purpose.
Our unlicensed systems must operate in close proximity with a variety of similarly unlicensed RF products – wireless network hubs, cordless phones, Bluetooth equipped PCs and peripherals, and other commercial wireless devices. But that’s not a problem for either Reply-brand or OEM-brand systems that Infowhyse designs and manufactures. And here’s why.
All our new wireless products operate in unlicensed frequency bands enabling them to be used virtually anywhere in the world (2.4 GHz, for example) employ proprietary communication protocols. Moreover, our specialized communications methods are proven to be exceptionally tolerant of the interference that commonly occurs in unlicensed bands. That’s because:
Reply systems set up a secure network that doesn’t talk or listen anything like commercial devices that use standardized radio protocols. That means other RF devices don’t mess with our systems, and our systems are designed -- and certified by competent major regulatory agencies -- not to mess with them.
Reply devices are synchronized so that a vote/response sent is indeed a vote/response received. This orderly method of communications has several advantages over asynchronous methods (even when those disorderly alternative methods are standards-based). Also, visual displays on each keypad we build acknowledge data transfer success to the user.
So if you’re concerned about interference, remember that not all RF is the same. Make sure your audience response system is designed to avoid the interference posed by other RF devices. Also, look for one the uses a TDM method to prevent it from interfering with itself.
And don’t blindly trust in commercial RF protocols, since many of those protocols were standardized for low volume networking and/or are not synchronized. Many of those alternatives depend on multiple transmissions to send data in hopes of that critical data eventually getting through to the base station. Their implementation might be characterized as follows: the more devices, the more re-transmissions, the more data, the more potential for self-interference. That makes them inherently noisy, and it adds an element of chance to their solution.
We’d like you to avoid both of these interference problems. You can with the systems we build. Give us a call. Let’s interact. Contact Us.
Q14. [Technology] One of your competitors told us that polling was an outdated way to conduct audience and student response activities. They also said that the best way is to use a product that employs a commercial protocol like Bluetooth or Z-something.
Of course it’s not true. And you can believe what we’re about to say now (and you’re obviously free to share it with the competitor that gave you that misleading information):
There’s a ton of intellectual property surrounding our successful products. One reason a competitor would have to enter the market with a different RF protocol is self-evident: There’s no other way to legally. And the reason a competitor would probably use a commercial protocol is also obvious: They do not have the RF engineering resources on staff as Infowhyse does to design breakthrough solutions that are specifically targeted to serve the audience/student response industry.
Please understand that we’re not saying that commercial RF protocols aren’t useful. They are…but for their intended purposes. They’re really not useful to our many clients who demand high performance in an audience response system. And here’s why.
Alternative RF protocols like Wi-Fi, DECT, Bluetooth, and others are designed for specific purposes like networking, telephony, limited external device connection, and more. Those alternative protocols are not designed to allow speedy and secure collection of data from thousands of keypads by a single base station that’s handshaking with each keypad in order to confirm that individual responses are collected. Also, commercial RF protocols tend not to change too much over time. Rather, they tend to be replaced with other protocols that often aren’t reverse compatible.
So rather than tie our market leadership position to radio methods that are not designed for the markets we serve (and which could eventually become obsolete), we prefer to control our destiny with continuing and progressive engineering. Yes, we design and build our own RF protocols. We also try to make our future products compatible with past ones since our products are not only renowned for their durability but our customers usually like to keep getting an excellent return on their initial hardware investments.
We think our decision to create specialized RF protocols has been a good one. It’s certainly been rewarded by the industry. We’ve also sold over 6 MILLION keypads -- all of them RF. Suggesting that our polling system is somehow “outdated” would be a gross misstatement because it would have to inaccurately assume that we’re still using the same polling technology today as we did at the time of the original invention. Obviously we’re not. We have different products and different specialty protocols.
You see, we think customers are smart enough to recognize that a technology ‘created’ can be a technology ‘improved’. “Outdated?” That would be like saying that combustion engines are the same today as they were when the first autos and planes were produced. Just as an F1 racer engine or a fighter jet turbine are huge steps above their preceding Model T or Curtiss engines, so are Reply’s contemporary polling methods a major improvement upon their original forms.
So before you make a purchase decision about any audience/student response system, we encourage you to make sure you understand in detail the respective technologies. That will help you recognize when a claim being made by competitors is inaccurate.
We’ll be happy to stand by all our claims with facts. So give us a call. We’d be pleased to provide you the straight story. Contact Us.
There has been a lot of press recently concerning the transport of electronics equipment powered by lithium batteries. There have also been a lot of misconceptions as a result. Allow us to clarify what is applicable (and not) to any products we build that are powered by lithium batteries.
Infowhyse only uses batteries that meet the requirements that exempt our products from being labeled as Class 9 Dangerous Goods. The criteria used to determine this exemption is based on the lithium content contained in each battery.
There may or may not be special packaging requirements for these products depending on your location and choice of freight forwarder.
Reply® and your team at Infowhyse® occasionally put together special offers designed to give a helping hand to those starting out with audience response by providing significant savings against the cost of the individual items. Click on the Gold Button Above and select your ideal starter pack.
Need More Data?
or would you like to speak with someone who can assist you in determining the best system for you or who can help you make purchase or leasing decisions? Use our e-mail form to describe your needs and we will reply with the information you need.
Already Know What You Need?
If you already know which keypad system you are looking for, or the type of keypad, use our email form to directly request a quotation.
This site uses Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF) extensively. please download if required
Just Getting Started?
Check out our dedicated
Edivote® website to
download your free copy.
Check out our dedicated
Applivote™ website to
download your free copy.
New to Audience Response.....
...or simply looking for new ideas ?
To learn more, check out the
Q14. [Technology] One of your competitors told us that polling was an outdated way to conduct audience and student response activities. They also said that the best way is to use a product that employs a commercial protocol like Bluetooth or Z-something.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
If your question is not specific to hardware technology and is more related to the actual use of audience response systems, click on one of the illustrations below
We know audience response systems.
ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
This Section provides detailed answers to all the FAQ's listed above
Group response systems typically use one of the following user interfaces to input audience response:
Telephone- or calculator-style keyboard
Typewriter keyboard (i.e., QWERTY)
Most audience response systems adopt a keyboard that has a familiar ergonomic layout similar to your telephone or calculator. That makes them so simple to understand that anyone can use them immediately without instructions. Moreover, keyboard styles allow you to enter different types of individual response, ranging from multiple choice to multiple digits to text messages. For example, users can enter alphanumeric answers 10 to 72 characters long with Reply® products. Dials, which usually have a capability to send responses of only two to three numeric characters, simply cannot perform this function.
To understand why keyboards are the preferred style for meeting, training, and group survey applications, you simply need to consider the "human dynamic" of audience response. Participants in an interactive session are looking at a visual stimulus (i.e., question slide). When prompted to respond, they reorient to the response device to identify the selection, note on the response device that the selection was accepted, and look back to the visual display to view the graph of the group's response. Keypads are uniquely adept at that task, since users can quickly identify their selection and positively note the response was entered and accepted. On the other hand, dials use a graduated rheostat that makes it difficult to "lock in" the response. During a dial user's attempt to select the number using a "twisting/turning" motion, the user is concentrating on the display to ensure there is no error in the response selection. None of this difficult numeric selection or extended concentration is required with keypads.
Granted, there are some select instances when response systems are used for more than Q&A. Sometimes response systems are used for analyzing a respondent's favor/disfavor to a stimulus with respect to time. This is called moment-to-moment polling (or perception analysis), and it is usually limited to a very small part of the market research industry that deals with specialized video and audio analyses. Dials are sufficient for this task; however, they are not the only style of response system that can perform the moment-to-moment function. For example, standard and custom Reply® products have raised borders, raised surfaces, and/or special layouts (such as linear key layout or touch sensitive slider) to help users easily identify the appropriate key during special applications that require uninterrupted concentration on a specific stimulus. More importantly, select Reply® systems can timestamp responses up to a resolution of 1/20th of a second...something contemporary dial systems cannot do.
Of these styles, keypads have been most readily accepted as the premier audience response tool. This is no unsubstantiated claim, since over 6 MILLION wireless keypads using Reply® technology are now in the market.