Sharp debuted interactive touchscreen displays at CES in Las Vegas that are built to make Web meetings more interactive. The 60-, 70-, and 80-inch panels replace the ubiquitous whiteboard with Sharp's proprietary AQUOS LCD display built for Web and in-person meetings by integrating with video conferencing and technologies like WebEx, GoToMeeting, and Skype.
Businesses can purchase the PN-L802B display for $13,795 on its own, or as part of the PN-L802B-PKG package, which includes the PN-TPC2W7 Compact Whiteboard PC and a cart stand (price unknown at press time). The PC comes pre-loaded with Windows 7 and touchscreen drivers, and is powered by a dual-core, 2.5GHz Intel Pentium processor.
As far as where the digital whiteboard fits in in the marketplace, Smart Boards, by contrast, have been in circulation in classrooms for the past decade and have a lot of the functionality you'll find in Sharp's new display for between $1000 and $5000. While Sharp's new interactive displays add in the bonus of a high-resolution LCD screen and pre-loaded functionality with popular Web conferencing software, you have to ask if that functionality is worth an extra $10,000. You could hire someone to preload everything you need, install a Smart Board in your conference room for you, and still save money over the new Sharp display.
That being said, there are still a lot of uses for the new display, including as an information center at airports and malls, or as a presentation tool for a business such as an ad agency that would benefit from the presentation value of the AQUOS LCD display. Otherwise, the price tag compared with that of a Smart Board or a digital projector will likely stop this display from invading most corporate boardrooms.
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Angela West dreams of opening a Fallout-themed pub featuring wait staff with Pip-Boys. She's written for big insurance companies, small wildlife control businesses, gourmet food chains, and more. Follow her on Twitter at @angelawest and Facebook.