The whiteboards of tomorrow: 3 interactive displays

Meetings are made more productive by digital 'whiteboards' that you can write on and interact with.

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A company meeting is more than just one person talking to a group. It can also include PowerPoint presentations, videos and, very often, a whiteboard on which attendees can map out lists and create charts and notes.

Within the last few years, the plain whiteboard has given way to more complex and capable tools. These large, technologically sophisticated interactive displays can be "written on" using a digital marker, a stylus or a finger. Users can also (depending on the display) pull up a presentation, website, video or company document; save or email whatever has been written on the display; and allow remote attendees to view the presentations (or even participate) using their own computers or mobile devices.

Until recently, most interactive displays used external projectors, which send an infrared beam to the display -- and to anything in front of the display, such as the presenter. The beam then bounces back to the projector, letting it know where your hand or stylus (or whatever you were using to "draw" on the screen) was.

However, because of the distance between the projector and the display, which can be 10 to 15 feet, and the electronics involved, these projectors generally have a noticeable delay between when you touch the screen and when the action shows up.

The latest generation of high-resolution interactive displays, however, use touchscreens and built-in sensors rather than external projectors. They not only deliver sharper pictures, but add a wider variety of annotation, video communication and collaboration features -- without the glare of an outside projector nearly blinding you.

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