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Whiteboard Market Withstanding Global Recession

UK-based Futuresource Consulting reported close to 600,000 interactive whiteboards were sold worldwide last year, generating nearly $1 billion of revenue.

UK-based Futuresource Consulting reported close to 600,000 interactive whiteboards were sold worldwide last year, generating nearly $1 billion of revenue.

"Across the globe, the interactive whiteboard phenomenon is really taking hold," said Colin Messenger, senior consultant at Futuresource. "Driven by continued technological developments, our projections show that one in six classrooms will be hooked up with an interactive whiteboard by 2012. It's remarkable to see how this technology allows teachers to connect with students in much greater depth, bringing the outside world into the classroom and transforming lessons into exciting world experiences. You've got to see the technology in action to fully appreciate the impact it has on the learning process."

In the 66 countries included in the report, Messenger estimates there are more than 31 million classrooms--huge market potential for companies operating within this sector.

"Our research is showing there are no real signs of recession in education technology markets. The feedback I'm getting from the marketplace is positive and the general view is that there's a far greater safety net than other sectors. Few markets hold the promise of education, where we'll see very strong sales growth for at least the next five years," he said.

Increased activity in 2008 shows that the United States had a very successful year, with sales volumes surpassing 250,000 units--up 65 percent on volume and over 100 percent in value. In the UK, Messenger says demand is still strong and will continue to be sustained, with a swell of activity awaiting EMEA.

"Adoption of the technology into classrooms can be fast-tracked, often driven by a craving from governments to kick-start their education system or leave a lasting legacy," he said. ""In contrast, it can also be a step process, taking perhaps five years, starting with PC installations, followed by projectors, and culminating in interactive whiteboards. Looking to the future, voting systems and visualizers will be the next logical move towards completely interactive and collaborative classrooms. Watch this space."



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