Smart Maintains Education Priority
Smart Technologies demonstrated the features of its new Meeting Pro software for interactive whiteboards.
Smart Technologies demonstrated the features of its new Meeting Pro software for interactive whiteboards during a luncheon Wednesday afternoon at InfoComm 08. Other topics on the menu included several non-whiteboard technologies that emphasize the company's focus on education, plus solutions for corporate environments.
CEO Nancy Knowlton began the presentation by announcing that Smart's millionth whiteboard would be shipped by August and boasting the company's significant growth over the past five years, all while emphasizing her points using the Smart electronic red pen on a Smart Sympodium.
The first of many products announced was the interactive display frame, which ships in August. Adjusting to fit most display sizes from 42 inches to 65 inches, the frame turns any off-the-shelf plasma screen into a touch system.
Stating that the senior-level management of companies spend more than 75 percent of its time in meetings, Knowlton then introduced a series of corporate solutions, including the Meeting Pro software, which connects one or more displays located in the same room or around the world. A short demonstration showed how one person in the room could make changes to a displayed document at the same time as a remotely located person.
Likewise, the Smart Hub SE collaboration appliance provides basic whiteboard conferencing without a PC, enabling participants to write over any application?including video?and save their notes. The Hub PE offers the same function, except it has the Meeting Pro software pre-installed. Additional features include handwriting recognition, which converts written words to typeface; text manipulation, allowing users to rotate words on the screen; the ability to take a picture of and save the edited file; and use multiple displays simultaneously to showcase more than one file.
Emphasizing that Smart Technologies is not just a whiteboard company, but also a solutions company, Knowlton introduced products that address other aspects of education. First citing the Senteo Interactive Response System and how it integrates with Smart's Notebook software, she went on to describe Smart Audio for the K-12 market. Quoting a study that found students only hear 70 percent of what a teacher says, Knowlton stated that an amplification system like Smart Audio is an important solution that "may reduce the misdiagnosis of child learning disabilities."
The system is designed to improve the audibility of teacher and student voices in the classroom and includes an IR receiver, teacher microphone, student microphone, two mic chargers, a ceiling IR sensor, and four ceiling- or wall-mounted loudspeakers.