(From InfoComm 2005)

In another example of enhanced connectivity for AV devices, SMART Technologies Inc., the leading supplier of interactive whiteboards to schools, now gives customers the ability to control their SMART Boards remotely through any Wi-Fi enabled personal digital assistant (PDA) or smartphone running Windows Mobile software.

To take advantage of this new functionality, users must download SMART’s LinQ Mobile 1.0 remote-control software from the company’s web site. Once installed on a PDA or smartphone device, the software–which costs $49–allows you connect to any SMART Board on your network. You can use the stylus or keypad on your handheld device to bring up a menu with options to write notes in digital ink, zoom in, or release control of the board.

The LinQ software gives educators another way to access their SMART Board wirelessly, allowing them to walk freely around the room as they use the board to teach. The company already sells a wireless slate for controlling the boards, called AirLiner, which is a more expensive solution.

“SMART customers are looking for products that maximize existing infrastructure and provide a variety of methods for users to interact effectively with their group collaboration tools,” said Nancy Knowlton, SMART’s president and co-CEO. “LinQ Mobile software provides another easy-to-use wireless control option for the growing number of PDA and smartphone users in classrooms, board rooms, and meeting rooms.”

SMART also unveiled a new 17-inch interactive pen display at InfoComm, called the Sympodium DT770. The device takes advantage of a recently developed proprietary technology called dual-touch DViT (Digital Vision Touch), which allows users to touch the screen with their finger to navigate control menus–and automatically switch to using a battery-free, tethered pen to control desktop applications and write notes in digital ink.

Because it comes with the same software that drives the company’s SMART Boards, yet carries a suggested list price of $3,999 (about half the cost of a typical board), the DT770 gives educators a more budget-friendly option for making interactive presentations in a classroom or meeting room environment, SMART says.

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