White board responds to human touch

SmartBoard, a product which enables a computer screen image to be projected on to a touch-sensitive whiteboard -- allowing screen changes, web surfing and other functions to be executed by touching the board -- is being used by several New Zealand companies.

SmartBoard, a product which enables a computer screen image to be projected on to a touch-sensitive whiteboard -- allowing screen changes, web surfing and other functions to be executed by touching the board -- is being used by several New Zealand companies.

A pharmaceutical company, a finance company and several educational institutions are using it, says Rob Love, director of Avcom Technologies, Smart's New Zealand systems integrator.

He wouldn't name the companies, as SmartBoard is yet to be officially launched here -- that happens on Tuesday.

Other functions include the ability to write on the board, highlighting parts of the projected screen, with special markers.

The writing can be erased with an eraser or a human hand.

SmartBoard will sell in New Zealand for $3000 to $7000, depending on screen size and other features, including software, that are part of the package.

Love says its manufacturer, Canada-based Smart Technologies, has a "very strong" relationship with Microsoft and that Intel has a stake in Smart.

Smart strengthened its links with Apple earlier this year, releasing SynchronEyes 2.0 for Macintosh, a software package which enables teachers to control up to 40 Macs from one computer. SynchronEyes 2.0 is also available for Windows.

SmartBoard is used by schools and tertiary institutions, pharmaceutical companies, NASA and the US Defence Department, Love says.

The US Navy uses it as part of its MIDDS-T (meteorology and oceanography integrated data display system -- tactical) weather prediction system.

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