Top 10 Features of Interactive Smartboards
Technology is transforming the way we work. Businesses have been utilizing various digital tools in promoting the new smart working model. One of the tools that is widely used in the corporate world is the interactive smartboard.
Businesses use interactive smartboards to replace traditional displays such as projector screens and whiteboards. As technology is advancing, more and more interactive smartboards of different brands and models are introduced to the market. Choosing the most suitable smartboard for your business can be challenging, especially when you have a unique requirement to meet.
From screen sizes to product brands and customer support, many aspects can affect your decision in choosing the most appropriate smartboard. However, in our opinion, buyers need to check and compare some of the most important features of interactive smartboards before making any purchase. No matter how powerful or attractive a smartboard is, it would not help your business if it cannot even provide these important features.
In this article, we will look at the top 10 most important features that an interactive smartboard should have.
- Whiteboard feature
- File saving & transfer
- Image Edit
- Document viewer
- PowerPoint presentation
- Web browsing
- Screen sharing
- Video conferencing
1. Whiteboard Feature
As an alternative to a whiteboard, it does not make sense if an interactive smartboard is not equipped with a basic whiteboard feature. Users must be allowed to write or erase directly on the smartboard panel. Besides, the whiteboard feature should also allow the user to change pen colour or the stroke thickness easily.
You can always get one or two smart pens when you purchase a smartboard. Pen writing is the core feature of an interactive smartboard. A great smartboard product can provide a smooth and intuitive pen writing experience. In short, a good smartboard should allow the user to at least do whatever he can with a whiteboard.
2. Multi Writing
One of the main reasons people are using interactive smartboards is because a smartboard can provide an interactive experience that turns a passive audience into an active audience. The multi-writing feature allows multiple users to write on the screen simultaneously. It is a small but critical feature especially when it comes to a classroom application.
A teacher can invite students to express their ideas by writing, drawing or sketching directly on the screen. When the multi-writing mode is supported, two or three students can learn to work together in presenting their ideas on the same panel. Learning is more meaningful when students are engaged and connected.
Annotation is an action of explaining something by writing comments or notes directly on a document or image displayed. For example, when you are displaying a PDF document on the smartboard, you can make notes by writing directly on the screen.
The ability to annotate, draw or write comments directly on a displayed document can help your audience to understand the content or presentation better. Humans are visual creatures, and it is more effective for them to remember something if there are visual cues.
Besides, annotation can also help to save time. The annotated document can be saved and exported. The exported document can then be shared with the participants. As a result, participants can pay more attention to the presenter without spending time writing their notes during the presentation.
4. File Saving & Transfer
As a highly collaborative digital display, the abilities of an interactive smartboard in file saving and transferring are extremely important. If an interactive smartboard cannot import or export a file easily, it is no different than a conventional whiteboard.
Users can always upload files to the interactive smartboard from their smartphones or devices. After annotating or making notes onto any displayed document, the annotated document can be saved and transferred to participants’ devices via the wireless connection or scanning the QR code.
Besides, most interactive smartboards are equipped with USB ports. Users can plug in USB drives anytime to transfer files.
5. Image Edit
Images or pictures play an important role in information sharing as a picture is always worth a thousand words. Interactive smartboards can display a wide range of picture formats such as PNG, JPEG, and GIF.
Displaying an image file is one of the most basic features, and the experience can be improved even more if users can scale, rotate, crop, or even edit the image displayed. The image edit feature can enhance the interactivity feature when presenters can play around with the image displayed to tell a better story.
6. Document Viewer
A great interactive smartboard must have the ability to support various digital file formats such as Word documents, PPT, PDF, images, and videos. Broad compatibility is important. Users want to display any content that they prefer fast and easily, so they can focus on more important tasks such as discussion and decision making.
7. PowerPoint Presentation
As one of the most used presentation software in both education and business applications, PowerPoint Presentation helps to deliver an impactful and interesting presentation. The quality of a presentation can affect the efficiency of a business discussion or a classroom session.
Most interactive smartboards in the market can view and display PPT directly on the screen. Some smartboards even have a built-in application to support the creation and modification of a PPT file.
8. Web Browsing
The greatest benefit of using a smartboard is its ability to allow an active discussion among participants. An active discussion is a discussion where every participant is free to share his or her ideas without limitations. Ideas can come in many forms such as sketches, images, texts, and videos.
Unlike traditional displays such as whiteboards and projector screens, an interactive smartboard is not only a display. It is also a tool that helps users to access a resource library with all sorts of information. Thanks to the built-in internet browser, users of an interactive smartboard can always look for information or resources online during a discussion.
When an idea or information is accessible, a discussion or a classroom session can run effectively without any delay.
9. Screen Sharing
An interactive smartboard will never be complete without the screen sharing feature. The feature allows users to share content from devices such as laptops, computers, and smartphones. Most smartboards support screen sharing via both the wireless connection and the HDMI connection cable. Some more advanced smartboards can even support screen sharing up to four devices at the same time.
The screen sharing feature is what makes an interactive smartboard a far more superior tool than other traditional displays. Unlike whiteboards or projector screens which can only support a single display at one time, a smartboard can display various screens simultaneously.
10. Video Conferencing
Remote meeting or video conference is the trend nowadays. The recent global pandemic also leads to the boom of video conferencing. Video conferencing plays an important role in both teaching and meeting purposes. Hence, consumers are constantly looking for a tool or a solution that can help them to communicate without travelling.
A few years ago, video conferencing was not a feature that smartboard manufacturers would pay attention to. However, things are different today. Most interactive smartboards in the market today are equipped with built-in front cameras and video conferencing applications. Some can even support popular applications such as Zoom and Google Meet. Besides, manufacturers have also started to put more effort into improving the built-in speakers and the microphones. Video conferencing is an important feature that could never be missed.
Different organizations or consumers have different criteria in choosing the most suitable interactive smartboards. However, no matter what your criteria is or what your application is, you should never buy a smartboard if it is not equipped with the ten features that we mentioned above. Without these features, it will never help you to run your application smoothly. A car without its wheels is never a car.