An interactive whiteboard is used in classroom presentations as well as in work groups and business meetings. It is a digital analogue tool proficient in interacting with computers and capable of displaying the images on a screen. An interactive whiteboard not only has the keyboard and the mouse functions, but some of the versions also have the capacity to recognize the characters written on surface of the boards as well.
Working of the Interactive Whiteboard
An interactive whiteboard gets activated when the computer it is connected to is booted. The connection between the interactive whiteboard and the computer is done through USB cables, Bluetooth or infrared.
The storing of the images or characters takes place through infrared or a tactile surface. Interactive whiteboards not only use infrared, but are also capable of collaborating with laser, ultrasonic, optical, analog resistive or electromagnetic systems.
Types of Interactive Whiteboard Systems:
- Optical Interactive
They allow the use of any kind of material on the whiteboard, as they use triangulation algorithm and an infrared light to define the placement of marker on the whiteboard surface.
- Laser based Interactive
They are similar to Infrared optical whiteboards in the way they incorporate the use of triangulation and define the placement of marker, but in the laser based system, the markers are supposed to have reflective surfaces and the triangulation is performed by the moving lasers.
- Ultrasonic Based Interactive
They make use of Ultrasonic sound for the triangulation purpose. The ultrasonic sound required is imparted by the part called stylus when it is rubbed against the surface of the board. Microphones are placed at different positions to catch the sound and triangulate the position.
- Analog Resistive Interactive
They have two resistive materials on the top of the surface to impart electricity on contact to define the position on the part known as stylus.
- Electromagnetic Interactive
In this type of device, electrical signals are emitted by the board having an array of wires and a marker with a coil. The coil causes change in the electrical field to determine X and Y positions. It also provides comfort to the user by allowing him to rest the wrist or hand on the whiteboard withoutoff-setting a false signal.
It is important to keep in mind that the interactive whiteboards can be adversely affected by permanent markers or usual wear and tear. Some of the interactive whiteboards tend to work along with programming and make use of pop ups, mouse–overs, annotations, keyboard and mouse emulation. They also tend to facilitate the functions of clicking and dragging variables on the active screen.