The lines have been blurred! Here is a projector that doubles up as an Interactive Whiteboard. Epson are an international company who have a base in Ireland and will be selling this board. According to some press release, this combined projector and IWB will
“shake up the interactive whiteboard (IWB) market, two projector manufacturers have just released new products that can turn virtually any surface into an IWB.
The development means schools no longer have to buy separate hardware to enjoy the benefits of IWBs, whose interactive surface and ability to engage students have made them quite popular in classrooms.” (http://www.eschoolnews.com)
So will it be a “game-changer”? Will we no longer be buying Interactive Whiteboards as we know them? The simple answer is: It depends.
It depends on price. I haven’t got a definite Irish retail price but from converting the UK rate, it works out at around €1,800. This is a good start. The minimum price for an Interactive Whiteboard with short throw projector is at least €200 more expensive.
It also depends on its accuracy. I tested the IWB with its pen and found it to be incredibly accurate. This is also good.
It also depends on how good it is compared to other IWBs on the market. Well, I’d be worried if I were a manufacturer of pen-based IWBs. Boards based on eBeam or Mimio should be very afraid. This projector has easily as good functioning as these brands and comes in a few hundred euro cheaper. I’d probably be a little worried if I were Promethean or any of their clones. This projector wipes out the need for these boards in every way as not only do they utilise pen-input, if they are projected onto a matt-whiteboard, they double up as normal dry-wipe boards. Now, if you’re a manufacturer of any of the touch-based boards, I wouldn’t worry…yet.
Soon this technology, if it’s successful, may become ubiquitous in schools due to their cheapness and the fact that they’ll probably be allowed under the NCTE purchasing framework. (They are projectors first and foremost).
If Epson get this right, they could easily take a massive chunk of the IWB market. With other smaller companies starting to produce these types of projectors in the UK, it’s not long before one of them will travel to Ireland and clean up. Having said that, I won’t be buying until they develop a touch-based version of their hybrid projector/IWB. But when that day comes, it will truly be ground-breaking.
Last Update: August 17, 2017