By Roberto Baldwin | April 18, 2012 | 4:38 pm | Wired, Gadget Lab
An interactive whiteboard can be a prohibitively pricey addition to any conference room or classroom. But now a company called Interphase is launching an interactive display system that can deliver virtual whiteboarding without expensive, physical hardware.
The new penveu system doesn’t rely on a traditional dry-erase board at all. Instead, it uses a wireless, ink-less stylus to interact with the image of a flatscreen display, or a projection on a wall. Using the teardrop-shaped pen, users can draw directly on screen or any flat surface, almost as if they were using a simple stylus on a touch-sensitive tablet. Likewise, they can gesture in the air, and their notes and annotation will appear on the screen or image projection, from up to 40 feet away.
It’s all demonstrated in the video below.
Because it’s stuffed with internal memory and interface controls, the penveu pen is bulkier than the pens and styluses associated with tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Note and desktop input devices like those from Wacom. Color and stroke-width options are actually controlled by on-pen buttons and a touch slider. The pen offers eight color “inks,” and an LED near the tip of the device indicates the color that’s currently active.
Because calibration is handled on the fly via a tiny camera near the writing tip, users never have to calibrate the pen with the display. The camera reads an array of “invisible” dots on the screen that only the pen can see. Orientation of the device is handled by 12 accelerometers.
The whole system is tied together by a table-top box that doubles as a storage area for the pen. The Penveu uses a simple VGA connection to link with the flat-screen or projector.
Yes, VGA. Interphase wanted to use a simple display interface to accommodate the aging hardware still found in some conference rooms and class rooms. The system can also be used without a computer: The pen simply saves whiteboard screengrabs directly to internal memory.
The penveu will be available in July at three price points. The 8GB education version starts at $500. The enterprise 8GB and 32GB versions start at $700 and $800 respectively.
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