eBeam transforms whiteboards

Any old whiteboard can be turned into a state-of-the-art digital system with the launch of the eBeam System 3, according to its maker, Electronics for Imaging.eBeam is a retro-fitted device that connects a standard whiteboard to a computer, capturing meeting notes and diagrams and downloading them to the Internet or an intranet. The device, which is about the size of a handspan, uses infrared signals and ultrasonic sounds, which are picked up by a receiver and transferred instantly, allowing users to share or project information using a digital projector.eBeam includes a range of software to save, print, conference to remote locations or beam information to a printer or a handheld running the Palm OS. Also included is the eBeam mouse application, which is used in conjunction with a plastic stylus to turn the whiteboard into a touch screen. The software is available as a free download and both it and the firmware are upgradable as new features become available, said Mark Bowden, managing director of distributor Visionchart.

"Interactive digital whiteboards cost between $3000 and $8000 -- the software to do this is free," he said. "It is not just a matter of the information we have, it is how we share it, so the eBeam is very practical."eBeam will be showcased next week at the Networld+Interop exhibition in Sydney. Files can be saved either as a vector file in native WBD format, or as a PDF, Vector PDF, BMP, EPS, JPG, GIF or HTML.

The product is targeted at three main markets: the audiovisual sector, IT solution providers targeting the whiteboard and education markets, and office products resellers. The System 3 carries a retail price of $1395, while the older eBeam System 1 is still available for $1295.

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