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What is an Interactive Whiteboard and How Much Does it Cost?

John Meier
06/11/2021
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Interactive whiteboards have helped teachers keep remote students engaged, helped sales teams to connect with customers all over the world and made presentations of all kinds more powerful. But even as social distancing requirements have lifted, the need for interactive whiteboards has not gone away. In fact, it might be more essential than ever.

Interactive White Boards (IWB’s) are large display devices that are often wall mounted or attached to mobile carts. The devices allow users to interact, collaborate and manipulate data in a hands-on fashion. 

IWB’s allow the user to edit and annotate directly on the screen with a stylus or even hands. Users also have the capability to communicate, edit and interact with devices such as smart phones, tablets, Chromebooks, and PC’s. The displays may include an optional full functioning PC controller. In addition, IWB’s use many different types of inputs including USB, HDMI, Display Port Input, VGA, DVI-D, or direct connection to any network resource along with wireless functionality.

Like old-fashioned whiteboards, they are used to share messages, capture information, facilitate brainstorming and team collaboration. IWB’s have the same basic conventional whiteboard features, but leverage PC technology and connect to the internet to dramatically increase the range of functions.

Their large digital flat displays make the devices easy to use and interact with, using capacitive touch with up to 20 points of contact. Handwriting and character recognition are generally included, along with a stylus, digital pen, and sometimes keyboards depending upon the user environment. They can use multi-media and different software apps to give end users specialized learning tools for their students or employees.

For video conferencing, the newest devices integrate with Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype and Google apps. Remote workers can now collaborate and meet when physically distant from each other. Onboard speakers are generally included, but the IWB’s can also be equipped with optional audio output to enhance the user experience. You can even tie multiple units together to form a cohesive video messaging system or video wall.

Size and Resolution:

Make sure to choose the correct size for your room or application. The optimum viewing size and angle are important to reduce neck and eye strain. The most popular sizes for Interactive Whiteboards range from 32 inches to 86 inches. The environment determines which size is best. A classroom may require a board from 75 to 86 inches, while a smaller meeting room may only need a 55 inch board. The larger the IWB, the higher the acquisition cost. Consider the room and audience for your display before deciding. Resolution of 4k or better works well for nearly all education and business collaboration needs.  

A 55-inch board can be had for under $1000, while a 98-inch board can cost more than $10,000.

Software: 

Software apps are an important aspect of IWB’s. If PC based, Windows and the Microsoft Suite is very versatile and extremely functional. Cloud services, educational or other industry specific software that enhance functionality, connectivity, storage, or performance are important items to consider. Be sure to research the software you will need for your Interactive White Board, as software is crucial for your display providing fantastic functionality for your team.

Specialized applications and programs can cost from $0 to over $600 per instance depending on the app. Cloud services or other software that enhances connectivity, storage, or performance can cost between $150 and $1500 per month. Make sure you know what software you will need for your Interactive Whiteboard, as software can equal or even exceed the price of the actual display board.

Accessories:

Accessories and other extras for your Interactive White Board can also add significantly to the cost of your interactive display solution. Pens and erasers can range from $25 to over $200. Wall mounts and rolling stands can range from $250 to well over $1500. Extra cameras or camera upgrades can cost from $100 to $250 depending on resolution and features.

Which device is best for me: 

Ask your GFC Account Executive about the models offered and which are the best solution for your needs and investment. (GFC offers the Ricoh Interactive White Boards, because we believe them to be reliable and perform exceptionally well for the investment.) Also consider leasing vs. buying as this technology will change over a 60 month period. GFC Leasing offers an array of flexible financing options to help you keep your technology up to the latest standards.

We help make the process informative and easy. Our experienced team will help you find the correct device for your needs that will last for many years.  GFC’s Business Analysts help guide our clients from research and acquisition through installation and configuration of IWB’s. We would be happy to assist you as well.

If you’d like to learn more about the latest in interactive whiteboard technology, talk to the office technology experts at the Gordon Flesch Company. We have a range of interactive whiteboard options and business technology analysts who will make sure your new whiteboards easily integrate and enhance your existing presentation technology.

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