SMART rolls out new whiteboards, software

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SMART Technologies Inc. has announced new interactive whiteboards for educators and revamped software that's Mac OS X compatible.

The Rear Projection SMART Board 2000i combines a 66-inch, touch-sensitive display with a height-adjustable and mobile design. It ships with an installed SVGA (800 x 600), 1600-lumen projector with a 4,000- hour lamp life, but can be upgraded to a XGA (1024 x 768), 2500-lumen projector. The 2000i provides a built-in audio system and integrated projector controls for access from the front of the unit. Teachers can store a computer and peripherals on the bottom tray.

With the SMART Board software, teachers can access, control, or write over the "top" of any computer application -- including Internet resources and CD-ROMs -- and save these notes to a single file. Users pick up a stylus from the SMART Pen Tray and write in electronic ink using either their finger or the stylus.

The Rear Projection SMART Board 2000i interactive whiteboard will ship in August with a suggested list price of US$12,999. However, with a grant from the SMARTer Kids Foundation, qualifying educational institutions in North America can purchase the 2000i for US$9,749. The 2000i includes an integrated projector with an extended-life lamp as well as free software upgrades.

Also due in August are two new 84-inch In-Wall Rear Projection SMART Board interactive whiteboards, the 2960 and the 1910. Both feature a 4 x 3 aspect ratio. They also use the SMART Board software.

The 2960 includes the 84-inch interactive screen, SMART Mirror Stand, an XGA (1024 x 768) projector with a short-throw lens, and the SMART Pen Tray, which holds an eraser and four pens that can write in electronic ink. The 1910 includes the 84-inch interactive screen and the SMART Pen Tray. Plus, you can integrate the 1910 with your choice of projector and mirror stand. Pricing for the 2960 and the 1910 hasn't been announced.

The SMART Board software itself has been updated to version 8.0, offering cross-platform file compatibility. The Mac OS X version includes Screen Shade and Spotlight features, which let you unveil or highlight selected areas of your screen. Hyperlinks can be connected to images and text; rich text editing makes it possible to edit text selectively.

SMART Board software version 8.0 will be available later this month as a free download to SMART customers. The new version also ships with all SMART Board interactive whiteboards and Sympodium interactive lecterns.

This story, "SMART rolls out new whiteboards, software" was originally published by PCWorld.

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