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Westinghouse debuts 84″ 4K Whiteboard at CEWEEK: are we there yet?

VizWorld

Jun 30, 2014

Westinghouse chose CEWEEK in New York City this week to show off their 84″ 4K digital whiteboard, with a MSRP sitting right below $13,000 USD. You can’t buy it at Best Buy (not yet anyway), but if you’re in the market for a high-resolution, fast-response whiteboard, this one is about the best you’ll find at the moment.

Testing the response time of Westinghouse’s 84″ 4K digital whiteboard. By fast response, I specifically mean how quickly the surface can follow either your finger or one of their marker-sized styluses when moving across the surface. And, not only with one finger, but up to 6, allowing more than one person to be working on the whiteboard at the same time, or being able to use multi-finger gestures, such as pinching or spreading, commonly found now in OS X and Windows 8 applications.

Westinghouse already has smaller units, in HD (and at a much lower price point), but there’s something quite different working at this scale, which is about the size a teacher, facilitator, or coach drawing plays for the team on an ordinary white board might expect to use.

It’s also a completely different experience than working with a projected image, such as the Smartboard units made for education, or the similar types of unit Dell and others have been adding to their lineup.

In my video demo here, I only had a chance to touch the surface for a few minutes, but I would say that for a screen this size it’s pretty close to keeping up with a tablet or smaller touch surface that normally would be either projected or plugged into a “dumb” monitor of this size.

It allows you to put content from your computer or the web on screen while the touch surface provides an overlay to add highlighting, type or even write and have it converted into type, which can be moved as an object elsewhere in the screen.

Although I didn’t get to spend much time with the unit, and I realize the price is probably off-putting for most educational institutions, I wouldn’t be surprised to see that price point drop sharply and quickly (meaning by the end of the year), as 4K LED screens go into heavier production and competition mounts.

My wish list for this kind of whiteboard? Variable pressure and a variety of “pens”, “pencils” and “markers,”, faster response when writing and drawing, the ability to create image objects (sprites) that I can cut/copy/paste/drag around the screen, and a recording mode that will capture my strokes as I draw or write on the surface, so it could be played back as a video later.

I wouldn’t say we’re “there” yet, but it’s a good milestone on the road.

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