Navigating the UC-Enabled Interactive Whiteboard Maze
All the hullaballoo Cisco has been making about Spark Board draws attention to an obscure yet interesting type of UC endpoint: the video-enabled interactive whiteboard. I've seen beasts of this kind in the wild for a few years now, but have looked on them more as curiosities than the kind of devices poised for mass adoption.
Vendors that specialize in projectors seem to be the most established, with comparatively full portfolios based on mature technology that has changed and adapted as customer requirements have evolved. UC vendors have had less luck, with Polycom's UC Board discontinued last year and Microsoft revamping its approach to whiteboards for Skype for Business.
Given that these things are more in the UC spotlight now than they have been in years, let's take a look at which companies are selling what.
(Note: This isn't going to be a clean apple-to-apples comparison. Some vendors have a single model, others have two, and still others an entire product family that has grown over time with each member possessing different specs. So you'll need to do some legwork in comparing one model to another. And it won't be comprehensive. So if I haven't mentioned your favorite device, please mention it in the comments. In fact, I'll start things off with Dell, NEC, and Optika-Logitech-Zoom solutions that I'm not going to write separate profiles on.)