One of the big problems with whiteboards in an office is that, unlike other digital drawing solutions, it isn’t saveable, it isn’t shareable, it’s not collaborative. In a nutshell, it’s good at showing a room an idea, but other than that, it’s super inefficient.
Now, having faith that technology has to be able to help this archaic means of communication, I went in search of something to help. And, you know what, I think I found it.
This is the eBeam Smartmarker kit.
The concept behind this device is that it can scan anything you write on a whiteboard (or any flat surface like glass for that matter), automatically digitize it, and save it, as well as share it or even invite others to collaborate from their computers or phones in real-time.
How it works is it uses a sensor that can either magnetically attach if your board supports it, or it can attach using included command strips (that you can easily peel off whenever you need to and won’t leave any residue), and it then tracks the marker and translates whatever it writes digitally and imports it into a custom app.
To set it up, you turn on the sensor, open the corresponding app on your phone that you can download from your device’s app store, turn on Bluetooth, it’ll connect, and you’re all set.
You can also use a desktop app for Mac or Windows that you can download from their site and it connects via the included wireless dongle they provide, instead. Once it is attached to the board and paired with the app, it’ll track anything to the left or right in two 5′ x 8′ squares by default. You can also go into settings though in the app and adjust it to just one side or the other and even create custom dimensions, if you want.
Now, the other major component of this, is the marker itself, and no it isn’t this crap ton of black markers that the company gives you, it’s this.
This is a casing, essentially, that allows you to put in any marker you want that has a fine enough tip and fits. Once you put a marker inside the casing, you can just start writing and instantly be able to see what you are writing in the corresponding app. From there it’s automatically saved and you can share it via whatever sharing service you want or to anyone else with an account, as well.
The neat thing about sharing via their app is that it allows other people to then draw on it with you in real-time (of course, you’ll need a computer or something running the program when you’re at the whiteboard so you can see their changes cause, you know, traditional whiteboards can’t update themselves. See: Super inefficient).
With this device you can also, tap the button on it to save the current board to the app and start a new one. So now you can erase what’s on the board and start over and not lose what was there.
Speaking of erasing, how does it know if you’ve erased something that you don’t want to save? Well, if you used a normal eraser the device won’t be able to track that properly so they included a digital eraser. It takes one AA battery and erases any dry erase marker like normal using felt, but has the added benefit of letting the system know what you are erasing, and, just like with writing, it erases it in real time.
Now, the system isn’t cheap, it’s $799 for the starter pack and $1000 for a complete set that includes four different colored markers, but since the only time I think a whiteboard is really something being used is in an office it’s not a bad investment for a company that wants to try and at least get their conference room feeling more like it belongs in the 21st century.
For more info on the smartmarker kit, head here.
There you go guys, even if you don’t have an office to put this thing in, thought you might find it interesting that it even exists, like I did. Let me know in the comments below what you think of this and me doing more videos showcasing the latest tech.