Erasing work from a dry-erase whiteboard used to mean deleting the information forever. Now, a new whiteboard camera system from SMART Technologies Inc. allows teachers to capture these images and save them for use later.

The SMART Camfire system includes a camera boom and a control unit. The camera boom incorporates two 3.4-megapixel digital cameras and easily installs above a 4-foot by 8-foot whiteboard. Mounted beside the whiteboard, the control unit features a back-lit LCD, printer port, network connection, and USB port so teachers can save directly to a USB memory device.

Teachers can save a digitally enhanced image of anything written, drawn, or posted on the whiteboard by pressing a single button on the control unit. To record notes from multiple whiteboards, users may connect up to four camera booms to a single control unit.

The system’s software automatically merges the images from the two high-resolution digital cameras and transforms them into a JPEG computer file. The software normalizes color, corrects keystoning, and creates high-quality images of the whiteboard’s contents, according to the company.

SMART Camfire DCi, which includes the camera boom and control unit, costs $2,999. Camfire PC, which includes a camera boom and SMART Notebook software for saving notes to a standard classroom PC, costs $1,599.

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