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October 02, 2007

Hitachi Software Debuts the StarBoard FX Duo Multi-Touch Interactive Whiteboard

By Prabhala Ranga Sai, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Hitachi (News - Alert) Software Engineering America, a leader in technology innovation, has launched StarBoard FX Duo interactive whiteboard series, set to revolutionize the education industry with new multi-touch interaction capabilities. Hitachi says these capabilities are possible only with the unique combination of whiteboard design and cutting-edge software technology.

The current series redefines the meaning of interaction for educators and corporate presenters. The StarBoard FX Duo allows control using multi-touch hand gestures, as well as use of the presenter’s finger, an electronic pen or any other object.
The uniquely interactive capability of the FX Duo enables two users to operate it at the same time, allowing students to work together in the classroom or co-presenters to give even more dynamic presentations.  
Hitachi made the board electronics-free so that it would be fully operational even with scratches or dents on the surface. This feature protects the instrument from the acts of vandalism or unintentional damage that usually present in educational environments. The 77-inch interactive whiteboard uses a camera image sensor system with all electronics contained in a replaceable component covered under a five-year warranty. Furthermore, with 24 customizable function buttons, the FX 77 Duo can be adapted to the specific needs of each user.
A StarBoard Software CD that comes with the software offers remote learning capability to conference up to 50 StarBoards together. Its 72 digital ink combinations enrich visual presentation. A customizable toolbar, interactive tools, handwriting recognition, object management and video annotation are the other tools that enhance the user experience.
“The ability to use two hands naturally creates a whole new interface for whiteboards and computers in the classroom,” explained Akira Nagamori, director of business development, Hitachi Software. “A teacher can bring a static diagram of a plant cell to life by zooming into detailed areas -- just by spreading his or her two fingers apart, marking it up with vibrant inks, and then linking it to a free flash simulation on the internet.”

“Offering the ability to use either your finger or an electronic pen to operate the board, the StarBoard FX Duo expands a presenter's digital realm,” added John Glad, product manager, Hitachi America. “There are advantages to using both electronic pens and touch for interactive whiteboards, and our customers wanted the option to use both.”
P.R. Sai is a contributing writer for TMCnet. To see more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

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