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Virtual Ink's Killer App: The Whiteboard
New add-ons: mimio boardCast and directPrint
by Stephen Jones (June 25, 2000)


Virtual Ink's mimio boosts meeting productivity with new products and software features for its whiteboard peripheral.

The folks behind mimio, the nifty $500 gadget that turns any whiteboard into a electronic drawing surface and teleconference device, have expanded its uses dramatically with new software and instant print capability. All these features build on Virtual Ink's philosophy of working with your existing software and hardware to leverage the value of collaboration.

Imagine being able to broadcast presentations and brainstorming sessions to dispersed clients and work groups. mimio™ boardCast™ is Virtual Ink's new $249 software add-on that allows whiteboard sessions and presentations with voiceover to be streamed, live over the Web via RealNetworks® RealSystem™ G2 to anyone equipped with RealPlayer® 7. No more talking heads obscuring blurry diagrams in video. You'll now see (and hear) the clear, unobstructed thought process in action.

Another way Virtual Ink is making their whiteboard peripheral even more useful is by adding a PC-less print feature. Connected between any mimeo-equipped whiteboard and a standard, PCL3-capable printer, the new $199 directPrint device can deliver instant color hard copy of your whiteboard sessions.

In addition, Virtual Ink has improved mimio's mouse emulation so that you can operate just about any Windows application on a virtual, whiteboard-sized screen. Similarly, they've also implemented the standard WinTab interface that turns mimio into a wall-sized graphics tablet, something very useful for large, engineering or creative design group meetings.

Both these features work best when you use a digital projector to overlay a virtual desktop onto the mimio-eqiupped whiteboard. You then use mimio to point-and-click or draw as you would with a mouse or graphics tablet, only at a larger-than-life scale. Now that's full-body computing.

Even without a digital projector, though, mimio remains a terrific tool for recording and broadcasting those whiteboard brainstorms that seem to come only when you are thinking on your feet with your colleagues egging you on. The innovative new video streaming and printing features, however, just keep adding to the mimeo's value.

mimio includes:

- 2.5 lb. 24" capture bar
- four marker jackets (infrared and ultrasonic transmitters)
- 4" and 1" diameter eraser pads
- calculator decal (for mimio controlled voice calculator)

mimio features:

- $499
- works with whiteboards from 2' x 3' to 4' x 8'
- markers can be used to click, drag, and double-click
- serial interface
- export whiteboards as WMF, BMP, JPEG, or HTML
- stroke recording allows rewind, fast-forward and playback
- compact vector-based whiteboard graphics can be scaled large or small
- one touch e-mail, fax, print and HTML output

Copyright © 2006 Stephen Jones All rights reserved.

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