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Author Topic: Smart Whiteboards  (Read 5654 times)

Austin Parker

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Smart Whiteboards
« on: July 19, 2006, 02:22:09 pm »

So I'm effectively in the bidding process, and the potential client wants to use a "Smart Board" as a way of displaying video images along with information about activities that are taking place that day (changing every day). Does anyone know of a quality product that I should investigate? I know about Smart Technologies and their "smart Boards", but was curious if anyone else had something in mind.
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Austin Parker

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Brad Weber

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Re: Smart Whiteboards
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2006, 04:45:49 pm »

Austin,

Might this be better in the Pro AV forum instead of the Installed Sound forum?

Do you know any more about the specifics of the "Smart Board"?  There are front projection, packaged rear projection and flat panel overlay versions, which is involved?

How are they envisioning using the interactive capability of the Smart?  Are they thinking of simply handwriting the new activity information each day (perhaps inserting the video in a windows and then writing around it)?  Is there some other interaction?  Could the activity information be a second window showing a PowerPoint slide or something like that?

If they don't need the real-time interaction, then there may be better ways to approach this.  There are a lot of devices that would let you display a video and a computer image (such as a PowerPoint slide) at the same time on a single display, in fact some displays have some PiP capability internally.  Like everything else, the price varies with the capabilities and quality.
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Brad Weber
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Austin Parker

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Re: Smart Whiteboards
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2006, 05:22:08 pm »

Yes, perhaps this is better suited for the Pro Av Forum (mods - move as needed). The board is of the rear projection type along with the flat panel overlay.

The rear projection model would be used simply as a way to hold meetings, display power point as well as display movies - on casters. The flat panel overlay (with interaction) would be used to display daily activities as well as provide a means for incoming visitors to gather detailed information about each activity for that day.

Getting power point to show up on a rear projection model isn't hard at all, its the flat panel overlay that I'm having trouble with. What would be the best way to provide real time interaction with information, while at the same time provide a "slide show" of the activities if there isn't a user at the screen?  In short: What software program with edit capabilities running on a computer will allow me to do all of this on the panel overlay?

The end user would like to have the ability to edit new information and changes to the panel overlay on the fly - always having the welcome room as up to date as possible.
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Austin Parker

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Don Boone

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Re: Smart Whiteboards
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2006, 11:40:39 am »

Creating touch enabled presentations is generally done by programming with HTML tools so it works like web site.
I don’t know of any easy to use software packages that do that. We do this kind of hardware install all the time but the content comes from software content production companies.

Don
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Austin Parker

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Re: Smart Whiteboards
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2006, 07:10:16 pm »

Powerpoint?
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Austin Parker

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Brad Weber

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Re: Smart Whiteboards
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2006, 09:46:39 pm »

I think that what Don was referencing is that the interactive touch screen aspect is simply an input device to a computer, pretty much just like a mouse or other pointing device.  You can touch the screen rather than using with a mouse, but what that does is up to the software.

So typically you have what is essentially a web site but where you manipulate the site through the touch screen rather than your mouse.  The 'site' is custom programmed for the application.

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Brad Weber
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Austin Parker

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Re: Smart Whiteboards
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2006, 11:26:48 pm »

Brad Weber wrote on Thu, 20 July 2006 21:46

I think that what Don was referencing is that the interactive touch screen aspect is simply an input device to a computer, pretty much just like a mouse or other pointing device.  You can touch the screen rather than using with a mouse, but what that does is up to the software.

So typically you have what is essentially a web site but where you manipulate the site through the touch screen rather than your mouse.  The 'site' is custom programmed for the application.




Brad,

I understand the technology and how it is used. My fault for not making my last post clearer. "PowerPoint" was a reference to a possible cost effective solution to allow the end user to change info on the fly, and appear to have some kind of "user interface" - although by no means anything like a HTML application. Perhaps it is best to do away with the idea of a smart board flat panel and just have a flat panel as a display device, scrolling through slides of the daily activities....  
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Austin Parker

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Brad Weber

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Re: Smart Whiteboards
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2006, 09:10:41 am »

Sorry, I misunderstood your earlier response.

Some activity or building directory type applications are interactive.  For example, the display normally shows a 'marketing' slide show or video but when someone touches anywhere on the screen you get a list of the day's activities.  When they touch on one of the activities it then brings up a more detailed description, the room the event is in and directions to that location.  After a time it goes back to the slide show.  For some reason that is what I was envisioning you were wanting and PowerPoint won't do that by itself.

For just a slide show that can be easily edited, PowerPoint probably is the most common way.  There are numerous message generator programs out there as well that have preset templates.  If they want to be able to change the information easily but not necessarily have to have interaction from the display itself, then a standard display and a PC driving it, either at the display or nearby (reception desk, etc.) is usually more cost effective.
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Brad Weber
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Austin Parker

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Re: Smart Whiteboards
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2006, 10:07:54 am »

Brad Weber wrote on Fri, 21 July 2006 09:10

Sorry, I misunderstood your earlier response.

Some activity or building directory type applications are interactive.  For example, the display normally shows a 'marketing' slide show or video but when someone touches anywhere on the screen you get a list of the day's activities.  When they touch on one of the activities it then brings up a more detailed description, the room the event is in and directions to that location.  After a time it goes back to the slide show.  For some reason that is what I was envisioning you were wanting and PowerPoint won't do that by itself.



This is exactly what I would like to be able to accomplish, but as it seems, the actual programing or software interface to get this done may be above the abilities of the end user - which is why I asked earlier if there are any easy to use software interfaces.

Any hints on some what easy to use interactive software?
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Austin Parker

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Rick Johnston

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Re: Smart Whiteboards
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2006, 10:15:26 am »

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
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