Tools & Technologies

Improved Visual Collaboration with eBeam – both Face-to-Face and Remote

Doing visual and graphical things when working with other people is common. In a meeting room, having a whiteboard available for taking notes, brainstorming, and laying plans is an almost ubiquitous piece of collaboration hardware. When reviewing a document, many people prefer to print it out and mark it up on paper.

Luidia offers a range of “whiteboard enhancers” (but it’s more than that) for face-to-face and remote collaboration. While the company has traditionally focused on the education market, they are taking an increased interest in the business market.

Here’s some of the things you can do with eBeam technology:

1. With eBeam Edge Whiteboard, you get a small device that attaches to the side of the whiteboard, and tracks / captures all the notes you take with a whiteboard pen (which have to be put inside special eBeam sleeves). What’s captured can be linked to a Mac or Windows computer, and either stored for future reference, or shared with others via meeting software. See image below, for the eBeam Edge Whiteboard.

2. With eBeam Edge Projection, you get the same small device, a special stylus, and need a data projector. Using a Windows computer and the data projector, you get the traditional projected large screen. eBeam adds annotation capabilities – drawing, text, highlighting – that’s saved back to the computer and can be shared via meeting software. You don’t need a whiteboard as such though – with the projector, you can transform any surface into a digital canvas.

3. With eBeam Engage, you get more advanced whiteboard hardware (with inbuilt speakers), and a wireless keyboard. It’s more designed for educational applications.

A few points:
– Pricing starts at US$800 or so. It’s not expensive.
– The eBeam Edge device is small and highly portable. I could imagine having one of these in my bag.

My Comments
1. It’s been about 5 years since I looked at the earlier generation of eBeam technology – what’s now called the eBeam Classic. I liked what I saw then, and I like this even more now.

2. There are many applications for this technology – enhancing workshops (especially discussion times), presentations, and brainstorming sessions. I can imagine this enabling a more human touch to be added, and enabling the constraints of a keyboard and projector to be thrown off forever.

Categories: Tools & Technologies