The Whiteboard Goes Digital

The Whiteboard Goes Digital

Attempts to digitize the ubiquitous whiteboard have struggled, could separating hardware from software finally be the answer?

As workplace collaboration continues to shift from email and audio conferences to team applications and video-enabled meetings, there’s one holdout in the drive to digitize the meeting experience – the venerable whiteboard is still ubiquitous in most meeting rooms, and even in many home offices. The continued reliance on plain old dry-erase whiteboards as a staple of the modern meeting means that remote meeting participants are often unable to see notes, images, or workflows that in-room meeting participants can jointly develop and modify. Typically, the capturing and saving of whiteboard content happen by taking a photo, or scribbling “DO NOT ERASE,” on the board to ensure the content is available for revisiting at future meetings.

Vendors have long sought to transform the plain old dry-erase whiteboard into a digital canvas that meeting participants can use to exchange ideas, manage workflows, create images, and mark-up documents and presentations. Today, the market is full of physical-digital whiteboards that tightly integrate into team and meeting applications. These include the Cisco Webex Board, DTEN D7 or ON, Google Jamboard, Microsoft Surface Hub, and those that solely provide a touchscreen environment that can run native or third-party apps. Examples of the latter include products such as InFocus Mondopad, Newline’s Trutouch, Ricoh D-series, Samsung Interactive Whiteboard, and Smart KappIQ.

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