Are all interactive whiteboards the same?

Interactive whiteboard is a a broad term but not all interactive whiteboards are equal and the electronic touch board is not the same piece of equipment as a projector based interactive display. Read more to discover the differences between these two types of interactive whiteboard.

Interactive whiteboards (IWBs) are revolutionising the boardroom, business and classroom environments with their ability to act as a large, interactive display that can be linked to a computer. On-screen content can then be altered, annotated and saved. It is an effective, future-forward piece of technology that makes smart sense, revolutionising the way that teachers can present lesson content, supplemented with videos and graphics that can be edited in real-time. Meetings are also given a wake-up call as presentations are no longer about passively taking in information, but about making alterations with audience input on the spot.

There are various types of Interactive whiteboards available. Seartec, proud distributor of Sharp, helps to explain the difference between projector-based interactive whiteboards, and electronic interactive touchboards, such as the Sharp PN-L702.

Projector-based Interactive systeProjector-based Interactive systemsms
Many IWBs use a normal whiteboard screen, such as one found in many classrooms, which can be written on with a marker pen. The interactivity stems from an added data projector and additional interactive unit, connected to a computer, which projects what can be seen on a computer onto the board’s surface. Users control the computer and write on the board using a pen, stylus or finger and an interactive component using infrared or other technology reads what is being written and transmits it between the board and the computer. This type of whiteboard needs to be calibrated each time they are set up. Because of the projector, the lights must be dimmed when the board is in use, as the projected image will not be visible in bright light.

Electronic touch-screen Interactive systemsElectronic touch-screen Interactive systems
Other boards, such as Sharp PN-L702, are electronic interactive touch screens (similar to a very large tablet), eliminating the need for the projector and the other separate interactive components. This means that calibration does not need to be performed. In the case of the Sharp PN-L702, the unique energy-saving, backlit LED screen is clearly visible in any light and eliminates shadow produced by a projector. They still run off a computer but they do not require a mouse, keyboard or screen as they provide these tools themselves.


How does this affect business budgets? Seartec can help
Projector-based systems do tend to be cheaper initially, however it must be noted that the lifespan of a projector bulb is at maximum a few years and replacement costs are pricey. An electronic board is a higher-priced initial investment, but can be better value-for-money. The Sharp PN-L702 runs using a fan system which cools it down so that it never has to be switched off. In fact, it is designed for 24/7 use without overheating!

Seartec has also made this progressive and high-quality technology more accessible, as the Sharp PN-L702 can be purchased on a service contract from Seartec. This means that the board can be rented from Seartec, who are then responsible for any maintenance that the board requires. This makes troubleshooting a breeze and saves on downtime and maintenance costs.

To view Seartec’s comprehensive range of Sharp office automation products, read more about our interactive whiteboards or contact us on 0800 474 277 for an obligation-free quote.

electronic screens