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uBoard Enables Interactive Whiteboard Features Without the Whiteboard

The uBoard creates an interactive whiteboard out of a standard projector and PC.
The uBoard creates an interactive whiteboard out of a standard projector and PC.

Korean company PenandFree has created a technology that allows people to use any flat surface as an interactive whiteboard. The uBoard consists of a wall-mounted "station" that's about the size of a television remote, a smooth writing digital pen/laser pointer, and software.

To activate the system, the user attaches the station to the wall with magnets (included in the package), runs the software on the computer, and turns on a projector. A working area can be set as large as 120-inches diagonally. The user controls the presentation with the digital pen by poking at a virtual toolbar that's projected on the screen.

The toolbar allows the user to:

  • Switch between writing and "mouse mode" and among a pencil, highlighter, or brush as a writing tool;
  • Create pre-defined shapes, such as triangles or straight lines, or free draw;
  • Erase;
  • Choose colors from a pallet;
  • Set the thickness of lines;
  • Zoom in or out;
  • Shift modes from full screen to scrapbook mode (which allows the user to cache pages in memory for later recall);
  • Insert text by virtual keyboard or by the built-in handwriting recognition;
  • Do screen grabs or capture only selected areas to save as files;
  • Capture movements on the screen to record as videos; and
  • Insert images and multimedia from a gallery included with the system.

The system works with Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, or 7 and a standard projector. An optional driver allows the user to run the system on a Mac with OS X.

Pricing is $599 for a wired version. The wireless edition is $699.

The uBoard was shown for the first time in North America at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) 2011 conference in Philadelphia this week.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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