Navigating the UC-Enabled Interactive Whiteboard Maze
Types of Digital Whiteboards
Donning the analyst's hat, I divide interactive whiteboard into groups of devices targeting an ever-narrower set of customers:
- First there are your garden-variety digital whiteboards. They're like the paper kind... only digital! You can draw on them. You can save what you draw. A given unit might have some bells and whistles specific to it. But it's mainly a standalone device that's not really meant to be connected to anything.
- Then there are the digital whiteboards that do all that, but can also be connected to each other over a network. You write on the whiteboard in your conference room and people see what you wrote on whiteboards in other conference rooms. Or on mobile apps. Or both. Presumably there's some kind of communications session going on at the same time, but that's over an audio bridge or maybe a video conferencing system completely separate from the whiteboard itself.
- Next there are whiteboards that do all that but have A/V components built directly into them. Or the A/V stuff is connected to them by cables. Either way, the whiteboard now doubles as a conferencing endpoint in its own right.
- Finally, there are whiteboards that interconnect with each other, have integrated cameras and speakers, and are optimized to work with a specific collaboration platform or service, such as Cisco Spark or Microsoft Skype for Business.
Now that that's out of the way, let's look at a number of the devices themselves. As with my recent team collaboration app slideshow, we'll go alphabetically by product name.Click to the next slide
These devices are more in the UC spotlight now than they have been in years, so let’s take a look at which companies are selling what.