SoftBoard teleconferencing system attracts federal users

A ceramic whiteboard fitted with lasers is the basis of a teleconferencing system that lets discussion leaders broadcast their whiteboard notes over networks to remote attendees in real time.

SoftBoard, sold by Microfield Graphics Inc., Portland, Ore., uses a true whiteboard to catch a discussion leader's notes as they are written. The board holds two infrared laser scanners that follow the movement of the whiteboard pen and eraser. Those movements are converted into X and Y coordinates and collected by a connected PC or Macintosh.

The notes can then be stored, replayed with a viewer program called SBView, or edited.

Remote teleconference participants can receive the whiteboard notes as they are written in real time through a dial-up connection.

Federal users include NASA's Ames Research Center and Goddard Space Flight Center, the U.S. Postal Service, the U.S. Supreme Court, Scott Air Force Base and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center.

"I think probably 30 to 50 percent of [SoftBoard users] use it as a whiteboard that takes notes," said Peter Zinsli, vice president for marketing at Microfield Graphics. "More and more, it's used for communication" across remote distances, Zinsli said. Two individuals will use the phone in conjunction with SoftBoard, for example, to communicate vocally and exchange sketches of ideas that are difficult to describe, such as network configurations, he said.

Microfield Graphics sells SoftBoard in three models: a wall-mounted version, a wheeled-stand version and a tabletop size. The price ranges between $2,795 and $3,995. Microfield Graphics sells SoftBoard direct to the government. For more information, call (800) 334-4922.

Featured

  • Defense
    Ryan D. McCarthy being sworn in as Army Secretary Oct. 10, 2019. (Photo credit: Sgt. Dana Clarke/U.S. Army)

    Army wants to spend nearly $1B on cloud, data by 2025

    Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said lack of funding or a potential delay in the JEDI cloud bid "strikes to the heart of our concern."

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.