Imagine if you could turn the text and illustrations on a traditional whiteboard into digital data in real-time. That’s the premise behind the eBeam Edge Whiteboard by Luidia, Inc. The technology works with any whiteboard and most Mac (s AAPL) or PC computers. eBeam is meant to be used with a company’s current infrastructure to capture physical whiteboard data.
Usually collaboration using a whiteboard either has to happen in person or is fragmented because of the lack of a truly collaborative connection. You could stream a video of the board as it is being marked up but that’s a broadcast model. You could take a photo of the board and email it or upload into Evernote and share it, but that’s asynchronous.
With eBeam, you can write on a whiteboard and the system picks up what you’re writing and drawing and transmits it digitally in real time to your collaborators. The system creates less friction within the meeting (no one gets stuck re-copying the notes for the team, and remote participants immediately see the whiteboard content) and allows you to write and illustrate with a more natural flow while sharing the data in a smoother way. The low-bandwidth data transfer can be easily received even on home networks, and there are no big files to download. Even if you do choose to email the file to other participants after the meeting, the file size typically is just a few hundred KB.
Those away from the whiteboard can view for free, using the downloadable desktop viewer, and also annotate the board data during a session.
If you opt for the Projection pack upgrade, you can use the setup with a projector and turn a larger projected display area into a giant tablet, using an electronic stylus like a mouse with drawing functions. Then you can pull in other digital content such as image files and other files to mark up and share with team members and other collaborators.
You also can record your whiteboarding session and play it back with or without voice so you can see what you produced, in context, and in the order the activity occurred. eBeam can be used independently or as a complement to a web conferencing system. The system is integrated into the WebEx conferencing application.
The eBeam system comes with an eraser, a package of regular whiteboard markers as well as special sleeves in red, green, blue and black that slide over the markers so anything you write can be read by the system. There is also a receiver that you can place on any side of a standard whiteboard to read marker movements via USB or Bluetooth.
Base product lists at $899.95 USD for the USB version and $1049.95 for both USB and Bluetooth capabilities.