There is a wide variety of technologies and applications in the launch of interactive whiteboards in the Latin American market, which demonstrate the interest of companies in this segment of the industry.
By Richard St.
The time of the green boards in which teachers had to write with chalk that produced a powder that caused an allergic reaction in many, are only in the memory of those who passed through a school more than 10 or 15 years ago.
Now the technology was taken educational institutions with special screens for each type of institution. This is shown by the products presented at fairs such as BETT and Infocom, among others.
Hernán Godoy Flores, commercial manager SAV audiovisual support, a company based in the capital of Chile, explained that "the market aims to design specific solutions according to the type of educational institution that we are serving. For example, for the higher education sector, the aim is to further improve the accuracy of interactive markers to implement them in medicinal applications, industrial development, design and architecture. "
He added that all brands today seek to launch one or more models that allow the work of 2 or more markers at the same time on the surface. He gave as an example the case of eBeam, which will soon launch the eBeam Infowall, the first interactive 250 board "diagonals, and the eBeam Engage, aimed mainly at the educational sector of primary and secondary education.
The LED screens, said the audio, video and lighting consultant Adrian Morel, have evolved a lot in the outdoor area, in indoor spaces and that specifically for educational institutions the most requested product is the video wall LCD, often also called mounted LCD or MLCD.
On the other hand, Elite Screens Inc presented VersaWhite. Jaime Abrego, product manager of the company, explained that this is a material that serves the dual purpose of projecting images with blackboard capabilities.
The material is available in three new products: White Board Screen Universal, Insta-DE and Insta-DEM. Each one is unique and serves its purpose.
Panasonic also presented a range of products, among which were staked applications that enhance the use of 3D technology, as well as wireless audio systems, voting systems and applications executed on the interactive whiteboard UB-T880, the most novelty of the brand.
Hitachi also contributed to the development of interactive whiteboards. His latest release was the FX-TRIO-77S, interactive pencil-driven blackboard that can also work with your finger. Its hard surface makes it practically unbreakable and of use for several users.
And what are its benefits?
Experts agree that the main benefits of interactive screens for educational institutions are the ability to develop a collaborative work between students and teachers, as well as visually attractive access to the contents of the web and the different applications or programs with the that all students are counted, in an active rather than passive way.
Hernán Godoy Flores indicated that another great benefit is to record the classes as multimedia videos in order to evaluate the process, offer digital tools to build their own contents and transform the classroom into an interactive, collaborative, didactic learning environment, accessible to all students and have a communication in the same technological language.
"The eBeam has a tool in the software that offers a teacher to share his class in real time through the Internet with students who are in his house and who could not attend classes, as well as the possibility of recording each class , which can then be uploaded to the website of the institution and thus be visited by students as many times as they wish ".
Lorenzo Toro Henao, General Manager of the Colombian company Estructuras Inteligentes, said that the boards or digital boards have the ability to record the information written by the teacher on a hard disk and in the next class to take up the subject with the examples and the pending exercises .
"Here we work with the student's photographic memory that leaves concerns and unknowns. Later on, the professor can clear up those concerns without losing any detail of what was previously seen. "
For Jaime Abrego, the benefit that these new products bring to the institutions is the saving in cost, when buying in a product, a blackboard and a projection screen.
"The conventional boards are not made for projection because they have a bright coating that dazzles and creates distortions in the image, causing a distracting effect by the brightness of the projector. These products are ideal for interactive projectors and short projectors. "
In Latin America, Mexico, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile and Colombia are the most developed countries in this area, especially Mexico because of its proximity to the United States.
The market responded very well and although many did not believe that this solution was possible. Several clients complained because they had to project on regular blackboards. The result was the poor quality of the image obtained, but the new screens highlight the colors and the balance of the contrasts.
The MLCD market is new and its performance was timid during the 2010. The year started slowly but promises to consolidate with this type of new service, the video conference. The incorporation of related software is essential.
There are countries in which there was not a good market development during the 2010. This is the case of Chile, which after the earthquake experienced last year, many projects that were to swell the number of units installed, were slowed and canceled, for reasons as valid as the prioritization of budgets.
However, during the second semester the reactivation of a number of projects was seen, which makes the first semester of 2011 look very prosperous.
On the other hand, an important aspect for the market of these solutions is the added value. Therefore, the certified channel or VARs must maintain constant training in new technologies and tools, advantages over the solutions of the competition and have a regular agenda of "demonstrations" in the field of the solution the number of projects to be evaluated.