Review: Starboard Link EZ system

The last year in Ireland has been reasonably quiet in the world of Interactive Whiteboards as most schools are now equipped with them thanks to some much needed government funding in 2010.  However, Hitachi have come up with an interesting new solution to the marketplace.  The Starboard Link EZ System is the first “eBeam-style” widget that allows users to interact with the board using touch.
Like the eBeam, one sticks the EZ System onto any whiteboard (or any smooth surface) and it instantly changes into an Interactive Board.  The system comes in 4 parts.  There is the digitiser (pictured) and then there are three parts which, when combined with the digitiser, create an infrared plane.  The system is very easy to set up and gives schools the option of having a touch-based interactive whiteboard at a low price.
I actually tried out the system on a table and it worked brilliantly!  In fact, a system like this if combined with a mini DV projector could create a touch-based table top computer for less than €2,000 including the cost of the projector and a computer.
The Starboard Link EZ system costs €800 including VAT and is available from any Hitachi reseller.  This is a more expensive than the eBeam or Mimio but the touch-based interaction is well worth the extra couple of hundred euro.  The software included is basic but this is becoming less important these days.
Overall, I believe if you already have got a projector and you want to make your whiteboard interactive, this tool would be a very good choice.

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