Monday 16 June 2014

Which interactive whiteboard is better – infrared, electromagnetic or optical?

In a modern classroom various kinds of equipments are used for effective teaching. One such device is interactive whiteboard. Along with uses in classes, the device is also commonly used for meetings and conferences. There are different technologies on which these boards are based – electromagnetic, optical and infrared are the most common variants found. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Here is a comparison of the three varieties:

·         Infrared Interactive whiteboard – In these whiteboards, infrared technology is used on the boards so that any kind of movements with the finger, pen or stylus can be tracked. With the pressing of the screen with the stylus or finger, the infrared light is perceived. The installed software manipulates the information so that the finger or stylus movements are located.

·         Optical Interactive whiteboard – In this kind of interactive whiteboard, infrared light is used along with a triangulation algorithm so that the location of the marker can be understood on the board. The main surface of the whiteboard can be made of any material in this case.

·         Electromagnetic Interactive whiteboard – There is a complete network of wires at the back of the interactive whiteboard and these are responsible for generating the electrical signals. For writing on this board, a special kind of marker with coil is used. Even when the marker is passive, there are changes in the electrical field for the coil. No false signal is therefore created on this whiteboard. 

On comparing the three common kinds of interactive whiteboards, it has been seen that the infrared interactive whiteboard seems to be the best of the lot. Though the lifespan of the whiteboard might not be as high as optical or electromagnetic whiteboards, the other features are highly attractive. Install an infrared interactive whiteboard for the class and see how interesting and interactive the class becomes.