Up Your Whiteboard Game by Combining the Best of Analog and Digital

Trade show season is back. ISE is going on in Barcelona as I type, and Infocomm 2022 in Las Vegas is just 25 days away. This means that manufacturers, integrators and *gasp* end users are all converging to explore new partnerships and help people bridge the analog-to-digital gaps that have been isolated during the great remote-work experiment of 2020.

One of the areas of work that suffered during the last couple years is collaboration, and there are a multitude of hardware and software solutions that have been introduced to address this problem.

Cloud-based conferencing platforms like Zoom and Teams have whiteboard software options, platforms like T1V and Alleo allow people to create persistent workspaces, and there are now hundreds of interactive short-throw projectors and interactive whiteboard displays on the market.

But even with all of these options, some people still love their analog whiteboards — in fact, a lot of people do.

whiteboard

Given that, I thought I’d share three ways to up your analog whiteboard game in a hybrid world while still keeping your trusted markers.

Huddly Canvas — We’ve all seen people take pictures of a whiteboard after a creative meeting or brainstorming session, so why not stream your whiteboard to the meeting through a dedicated camera? This is the simple premise Huddly has embraced with its Huddly Canvas kit, which allows you to add a second camera to your meetings for whiteboarding. Sure, it’s simple — it’s essentially a webcam with a wall-mounted selfie stick — but sometimes keeping it simple is the answer.

Jabra Panacast 50 — Odds are you’re going to have a camera at the front of the room to capture meeting participants, so why not allow that camera to also capture your whiteboard? That is exactly what the Jabra Panacast 50 does. Its 180-degree field of view is created by stitching three separate camera views together, and one of those cameras can also capture a whiteboard in the room and display it as a full-screen feed. If the whiteboard is off-axis, Jabra can actually correct the aspect ratio and “square up the image” to keep it rectangular, full-sceen and distortion-free. Of course, the Panacast 50 also picks up and plays back audio through its multi-microphone array and built-in speakers.

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Sony’s Edge Analytics Appliance — If you’ve ever been frustrated with a presenter blocking your view of what’s written on the whiteboard, you’ll LOVE this product. Sony’s Edge Analytics appliance adds intelligence to your meetings system in myriad ways. One of those ways is through its handwriting extraction technology that brings anything written on the whiteboard forward as a separate layer. It’s almost as if the presenter is standing behind a piece of glass with the text written on it so that as they move and write, the existing text or diagrams stay fully visible and unobstructed. The appliance also can add auto-tracking, chroma-key, audience recognition and cropping to other cameras.

If collaboration is your goal, then you should definitely take a look at these products for your applications to combine the comfort of analog with the advantages of digital for your hybrid meetings. All three vendors will be at Infocomm 2022 at the Las Vegas Convention Center as well, so I’d encourage you to check them out for yourself. Their InfoComm booth numbers are below and are linked to the floorplan.

Huddly: W2903 

Jabra: W1529

Sony: N1513