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Consumer Electronics Show: LG reinvents the chalkboard

January 7, 2011 | 12:03 pm

In days gone by, you could pick out a teacher in a crowd by the chalk dust on his or her clothes. But at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, LG has offered an alternative to the slate-green monster at the front of the room. 

The idea of a computer-driven writing board is not new -- Smart has been making them since 1991 --  and the LG Pen Touch Multi Board is, in essence, a large widescreen TV that supports a stylus touch interface. But two things make LG's product different. 

First, it supports input from more than one stylus at a time, allowing for multi-touch functionality and collaboration among simultaneous users. Second, Smart's writing board uses a projector to create the display image, whereas LG's board is an LCD screen. This is no small advantage.

Having used a Smart Board, I found that the ability to project from your desktop computer can make for some very compelling presentations. The downside, aside from lighting and visibility, is that to write on the Smart Board you have to stand in front of it, thereby blocking the projector. Hence the case for an actual video screen. 

After using the LG Pen Touch Multi Board, teachers may become a little less conspicuous in a crowd, and students will have to do something other than clap erasers for after-school punishment.

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-- Tim French

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