By arkar | Apr 19, 2012 at 5:40 AM PDT | AllVoices.com
Schools used to have very functional and indeed low-tech learning tools, something that hadn’t changed for decades. The good black board (well, sometimes green) and chalk were a teacher's principle instruction tools, later replaced by a white board and an erasable marker. These writeable mediums had been for a very long time the standard in schools across the world until recently when schools upgraded to the more hi-tech interactive boards that basically allowed teachers to use displays like computers.
Well upping the ante on that is a new device that incorporates both writing and computer power to offer one of a kind functionality and pipe dream it is not, as it has been announced that this new teaching gadget will be introduced to schools in the near future.
The gadget itself, the teardrop-shaped handheld wireless Penveu, created by Texas-based Interphase Corporation, also allows users to write “electronically” on any flat surface, be it interactive white board, wooden desk, or concrete wall. The device has been in development for the past three years and Interphase Corporation is set to apply for a patent with the gadget scheduled to be unveiled at Demo, a conference for emerging technologies in Silicon Valley. The good news about the Penveu is that the Los Angeles Unified School District, the largest in the United States with around 770,000 students is set to trial run the device for possible introduction into its schools.
Speaking to the BBC, Warren Dale, a technology advisor to Los Angeles schools, said, "Today's kids are all about collaboration, Facebook, taking and sharing pictures, making and sharing movies. With Penveu, I can easily and inexpensively add another collaborative tool in the classroom,” adding that, "I see (Penveu) making a major impact in US classrooms."
And it’s not just the Penveu’s special features that are appealing. It also comes with an affordable price tag. The price of a unit for educational use would be $495, far cheaper than the $2000 price tag for interactive white boards.
The Penveu uses technology that has previously been used in satellites and military navigation systems, known as "embedded computer vision." By connecting it to any video graphics display such as a TV or a computer monitor, the Penveu can write, draw or highlight on any surface without tarnishing it in at least nine different colors. And because it incorporates computer functions, anything that the Penveu writes or draws on a surface can be erased or alternately can be saved for future use. It has a range of 40 feet from any screen and does not need any special software to be operated.
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