Interaction in meetings, classrooms and other gatherings is very important and it is no wonder that electronic means of interaction have been devised. Among this is the use of digitale whiteboards which provide an easy way for people to interact with each other. They can serve the same purpose as traditional whiteboards or projector screens depending on the set-up in which they are to be used. In classrooms, they provide a way for students and the teacher to interact while in corporate meetings they offer a convenient way of giving illustrations. Through the use of stylus and other pointing devices, these boards can be controlled and whatever is written on them saved if the user wishes. They are also controlled from the computer to which they are attached.
The only limitation that faces the use of digitale whiteboards is the fact that they are quite expensive. Though the cost depends on the size and the level of sophistication desired, they are generally more expensive than alternatives. But are these alternatives really worthwhile?
The use of conversion kits tops the list of alternatives. These are clip-on devices which convert a regular whiteboard into a digital board controlled by an attached laptop. An ultra-sound mouse pen and dry marker placed in a special case can then be used to interact with the board. This however will not be as effective as the use of an actual digitale whiteboard.
Another option is the use of projection screens coupled with other devices to make it as interactive as a digital board. These devices can be a wireless keyboard, a tablet or a wireless graphics tab. When a wireless keyboard is used, it is used to key in information that is then transmitted to the screen via Bluetooth, radio frequency or infrared technology. A gyro mouse can be used to transmit hand motions to the screen. A disadvantage of this is the fact that one cannot directly write on the whiteboard.
When tablets or wireless graphics pads are used with a projector, they act as the main input methods. One has to write or draw on the tab or pad using a stylus or fingers and then the image is transmitted to the screen. For interaction, the tablet is passed around so every person makes their contribution. With a digitale whiteboard however, inputs can be made by several people at once. The handwriting-recognition software in tablets is not reliable either making it a less superior option.
Generally the use of projector screens requires low lighting for clear visibility which limits its use in gatherings where people are required to make notes. Though expensive, digitale whiteboards are unbeatable in terms of performance.
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