If you've worked with us, you know that we appreciate a good whiteboard session. There are certain tasks, certain processes that are simply more efficiently conducted when people share a large surface. What's more, many elements of this shared experience have yet to be successfully translated to a digital-first environment. In short: there's something special about the whiteboard and we - like many of you - refuse to give it up, just because we're not sitting in the same room as the folks on our team.
So what's to be done? If you've read about our latest pride and joy, you know that we're committed to making remote whiteboarding a reality. You may have even seen others out there attempting to solve a similar problem. Terms like whiteboard capture or content camera are often used interchangeably when describing features that support remote whiteboarding. Though these terms are, indeed, related, they contain a few hidden gotchas and nuances that bear clarification.
The term content camera is often used by hardware and software companies that offer videoconferencing solutions. The idea is that a presenter can share a secondary device which can be pointed at a whiteboard in order to improve the visibility of its contents. Whiteboard capture is, in a way, the reverse: a term used by companies selling specialized cameras physically mounted above whiteboards, which then send contents to recipients (sometimes via videoconferences). Similar, right?
When used by the aforementioned manufacturers, these terms have other similarities:
- First of all, they normally require dedicated (and expensive) hardware; some even insist on booking installation services to mount that hardware where needed
- Next, often this dedicated hardware (and its associated services) requires long-term contracts or licenses
- Of course, any hardware-based solution comes with hardware-based limitations: a mounted camera can only be used in one place, scaling a hardware-based system (up or down) is time-consuming and complex, and there's that price tag again
- These systems tend to come with a series of not-exactly-advertised limitations -- such as the ability to only share whiteboards (not any other surface)... and only of a certain size... and only from a certain distance
Luckily, there is an answer to these woes: enter ShareTheBoard. Our software-based solution for real-time digitization of handwritten content. ShareTheBoard gives you whiteboard capture without any limitations.
Our application addresses all of the shortcomings listed above:
- ShareTheBoard requires no new hardware; laptops and smartphones surround us - why would we need more gear? You don't need a whiteboard camera - you already have one!
- ShareTheBoard is profoundly easy to use and can be enjoyed without any long-term obligations. In fact, you can try it free; and when you're ready, select a monthly cycle for flexibility or an annual one, for greater savings.
- Speaking of savings, ShareTheBoard is extremely cost-efficient. First of all, that dedicated hardware which costs hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars - per item/room/board - is just plain absent. Second of all, you can enjoy whiteboard digital capture for as little as $5/mo.
- As a SaaS solution, ShareTheBoard is easy to scale up or down. No installation, no services, just add/remove users as needed.
- Since it's software based, ShareTheBoard is completely mobile. All that expensive gear at work is useless when you can't get there! Now, all you need is your trusty laptop.
- Finally, ShareTheBoard works on any surface. Whiteboards? Check. Blackboards? You bet. Flip chart? No problem. Piece of scrap paper on desk? Yup. Anything you can write on can now become a digital input.
But that's not all! We'll soon be adding functionality that will enable remote participants to interact with those shared surfaces! They can already save the contents from your shared surface with one click; very soon, they'll be able to contribute content of their own. This will fully payoff the notion of true remote whiteboarding. Let's see those fixed cameras mounted over single whiteboards do that!
So, it's not just an app used to "capture whiteboards" nor is it a "whiteboard camera app." It's more like a "capture content from any offline surface while adding content to it from anywhere in the world, without any immovable hardware or expensive contracts" ... app. And that has a nice ring to it.