Hitachi StarBoard FX Interactive Whiteboard

If you’ve ever seen the film “Minority Report” and dreamed that you could be like Tom Cruise on his touchscreen computer, moving things around with two fingers, then this is the IWB for you. Unlike every other commercial IWB, this is the only board I know that lets you interact with two fingers allowing you to do cool things.

By now, it should be clear to the reader that touch IWBs impress me much more than pen-based ones. The scaremongers from certain companies always play the hygiene card and it doesn’t “wash” with me at all. I had a stand up argument (insofar as that is possible on the phone) with a salesperson trying to convince me of this drivel. Her brainwashed mind was incensed by my cheek to question what she had been told. (It felt like arguing with someone from a cult). Anyway… a touch-based interactive whiteboard that allows you to use two fingers must be twice as good. Well, in some cases it is but it comes at a cost.

The Technology

The Starboard FX from Interactive Classroom Solutions appears to use Infrared and ultrasound technologies to allow you to interact with it. It is both accurate and fun to use. I loved some of the features where you can rotate a 3D object using two fingers in all sorts of direction. I loved the fact that you can make more space on your workspace by brushing the back of your hand against the board. I loved the fact that I could play Tom Cruise in Minority Report.

The Software

Starboard comes with its own software, which is similar in design to Smart’s Notebook. For the life of me, I cannot understand why almost every company except Promethean do this as it is not primary school child friendly. The resources that are included are ok but a little mature (not in a bad way) for the primary-school child. For example, you won’t find clipart of Humpty Dumpty (I think). Starboard is the software that lets you use the “two-fingered approach”. Without it, for example, if you used a different software package like ActivStudio, this feature is not used.

The Price

The minimum price for a fully installed package with a long-throw projector is €3,798, which is somewhat dearer than its competitors.

The Quirks

The ability to use two different fingers to control the software is a great quirk. It’s a pity there isn’t much more software out there that can take advantage of this feature. With the popularity of the WiiMote IWB, perhaps, it will increase.

Video in Action

The Verdict

I like this board. I like the fact that two people can use it at the same time, when using the native software. It’s a pity that the software doesn’t match my needs as a primary teacher. The fact that it is over €1,000 more expensive than its competitors would turn me off. Like Smart, if their software was skinnable and they added more resources, this would be near or at the top of my wishlist.

Last Update: August 17, 2017  

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