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Author Topic: Smart Whiteboards  (Read 5600 times)

Austin Parker

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Re: Smart Whiteboards
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2006, 10:37:41 am »

Rick Johnston wrote on Sat, 22 July 2006 10:15

As Brad said, Smartboards are touch-screen control interfaces. They allow you to control a computer in exactly the same way as you'd use a mouse.

Some models have whiteboard-style pens and erasers and proprietary software that lets a user draw annotations on the screen, but that's probably not needed for your project.

I've seen content created with Flash, Director, Opus and HTML. All work equally well, but good ol' HTML is the cheapest to commission and easiest for a user to change if it's set up properly.

All the user would have to do is change entries in a linked database to update the display. A separate forms-based input screen can be written in an app like Access to make that job easier.

Regards,
Rick Johnston



Rick,

While it's not the actual theory or usage of a smart white board that I don't understand, it is programing of such a device in a K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple Stupid) way that I'm having a hard time.

Flash, Director, Opus and HTML are usually the software packages I direct the end user towards, but only when the client has a IT or Tech Dept. or some individual that is capable of using these software packages.

I don't think that the secretary, office manager or even corporate executive have the patience or diligence to go through code - of any type - to program their display daily. Changing entries in a linked database comes easy to you and I, but to people who's sole responsibility is running an office, code might as well be an alien language.

Unfortunately in this circumstance, the office doesn't have a full time IT or Tech dept. that can take on the programing of the display (even if it is just simple database changes). I would love to be able to do what Brad simply put, but don't think that teaching these (some what advanced) software packages will go over well.

Perhaps I can turn this over to the guy they have who develops their web site, and have him take on the responsibility of adding daily information to the site. Then I could use the interactive touch screen over lay as nothing more than a large computer monitor, used to navigate the organizations website. If this is not possible, I feel as if the only way to get something close, but not interactive, is PowerPoint; that is unless there is some software that I'm not aware of.

Thanks for all the continued help!


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Austin Parker

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Brad Weber

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Re: Smart Whiteboards
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2006, 11:33:26 pm »

This may simply be one of those "they can't have their cake and eat it too" situations where your client can't realistically expect to have advanced flexibility and untrained personnel running it.

Like others, I usually leave the software and content creation side up to others, but there are a number of companies offering packaged kiosks and kiosk software.  They may be able to provide a software package that is fairly well templated but with some ability to easily add specific data or interact with applications like PowerPoint.  I don't really know the specific packages but just do a Google search for "kiosk software" and you'll get a number of companies the appear to offer software packages.

One thing you will find is that some custom kiosk packages are very particular about which touch screens and overlays they work with.
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Brad Weber
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Rick Johnston

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Re: Smart Whiteboards
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2006, 10:13:05 am »

Austin Parker wrote

I don't think that the secretary, office manager or even corporate executive have the patience or diligence to go through code - of any type - to program their display daily. Changing entries in a linked database comes easy to you and I, but to people who's sole responsibility is running an office, code might as well be an alien language.

That's the beauty of a forms-based entry screen. The user double-clicks an "Update Display" icon on his/her networked computer's desktop. A screen comes up that looks exactly like the display. The user simply changes the words and hits "Submit." The database and display are updated automatically. The code runs in the background.

Regards,
Rick Johnston

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Don Goguen

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Re: Smart Whiteboards
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2006, 12:54:35 pm »

In my previous position we did a lot of corporate installs using SmartBoards.  They interface with the connected computer via installed software that makes using them seamless with applications like Word, Excel or IE.  I have not had any trouble with "teaching" clients how they work though in some installs this add-on has gone mostly un-used.  You can give them the technology but can't make them use it.  

They are fine when used in an environment that has a dedicated computer for the device but often times I got requests for these in conference rooms with users that will come in with laptops.  They just couldn't get past the point that the system will only run with the Smart software and every user would have to have it installed and would need to know how to calibrate it.

With either the overlays for plasmas or the projection boards, they are fairly easy to install unless you need to run cabling any distance.  where we needed to extend the USB we have used Cat 5 extenders from Icron.  RS232 was easier to work with.

As to similar products to compete Smart is the market on this one.
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