There are many times when we need to have communication between our worship leader and the projection operator. We do not have any backstage area so any communication has to be done while the worship leader is sitting on the front row. We tried simply texting each other on cell phones but that can be slow and cumbersome. I looked around for something else. Something instant, wireless and easy.
Doing some Google searches led me to start looking at wireless instant messaging devices. Unfortunately, there are not many. I found a device by Motorola called IMFree. It is no longer in production but there are plenty available on Amazon.
It uses AOL Instant Messaging (AIM). I set up two AIM accounts, one for the handheld device and one for the projection computer. I setup the wireless USB receiver on the second computer we have in the auditorium (records our audio) and ran the software that came with it. I run Pidgin (instant messaging software) on the projection computer.
The handheld unit is totally wireless and has a rechargeable battery. I simply unplug it, power it on, log it in and then hand it to our worship leader. After that, we now have easy communication.
The only real downside is the handheld unit does not have a backlit display so if the lights are low, it gets harder to see. Otherwise, it works great. There is also no way to make the person who has the handheld unit know there is a new message unless they look at the screen. It would be nice if it had something that flashed when a new message was received.
Now it is much easier to make changes on the fly when he can simply message me with the change.