An interactive board or SMART board, named after the original manufacturer, allows a user to project an image and interact with it by writing on it or moving it on the board. The board is connected to a computer and works with a projector. The projector displays what is open on the computer screen, allowing the user to view, add or edit content, and write or draw, as on a chalk board or white board. The content can be saved and shared electronically.
There are a number of different types and sizes of boards, including electronic white boards with projectors, light-emitting diode (LED) monitors with touch screens, video wall screens with interactive touch overlay and standard white boards with a connected capturing device.
Basic smart boards are used mainly in educational environments, where a laptop with the requisite software is connected to a projector and board. Pupils and educators are able to manipulate projected content using a touch screen function. A number of boards can be connected simultaneously, allowing for users to interact at the same time. Although relatively cost effective to deploy, these boards have limited projector lamp life, with brightness halved after about 1 000 to 1 500 hours of use. Replacement lamps can be costly and as such, laser projectors are recommended for this environment, with a light source life-span of up to 20 000 hours.
Interactive technology is moving towards the use of fully-integrated LED monitors, with touch screen, video conferencing and content-sharing capabilities. This allows for a single product to be used for multiple functions. Available in various sizes, monitors can be mounted on a wall or on a freestanding trolley, allowing for increased portability and flexibility.
Video wall screens with overlays are commonly used in large control rooms and network operations centers. The software allows for screen sharing via external devices such as laptops and tablets, touch-screen manipulation and the ability to open multiple computer display windows on a single screen.
Add-on devices for standard white boards are also available. The device is calibrated and an interactive pen sends coordinates to the capturing device to capture images onto a laptop, loaded with the requisite software. These small devices are portable and can be used on most flat writing surfaces, creating a mobile interactive white board.
Corporate AV Integration designs, installs and maintains various audio-visual and radio frequency solutions, including interactive white board technologies.