Wondering about the components of a SMART Board?
SMART Boards are a technology developed by SMART. SMART Boards serve primarily as the 21st century replacement for chalk boards and white boards. The technology allows users to present information that is rich in graphics and sound using touch-screen control methods. There are several models of SMART Boards, with various features and price points designed to support different needs, but all use a basic series of parts to function.
SMART Board Surface
As in a standard white board, the SMART Board surface is the primary area of interaction between the user and the device. It is designed to be touch sensitive, allowing one to two people to manipulate controls or objects on the board surface simultaneously. The SMART Board surface also interprets a series of gestures that control the way objects on the board behave, such as moving two fingers closer together to zoom out from a graphic object.
Physical Tools Palette
Most models of SMART Boards have a “Multiuser Pen Tray,” which is a palette of plastic writing tools. The “pens” do not have actual ink but are used to interact with the whiteboard surface digitally. They come in colors such as red, blue and green an sit in a tray attached to the whiteboard surface. The tray uses sensors so it can detect when a particular color is picked up and will replicate the chosen color and operation on the whiteboard surface. The tools palette also includes an eraser to remove marks made by pens or fingers.
SMART Boards employ an array of multimedia devices. The primary device is the system’s projector (some models are not shipped with projectors but require one nonetheless) which is used to display images on the whiteboard surface from a computer. The projector hangs directly over the whiteboard surface. Often sold as an accessory, you can also attach speakers to the sides of the SMART Board surface and enjoy stereo sound for games and presentations as well as a mic, which can be used for web conferencing. Some higher-end SMART Boards use rear projection systems similar to those used in TVs.
SMART Boards are not stand-alone devices. A SMART Board is essentially an input/ouput device for a computer. Like a mouse and keyboard, it allows you to manipulate information in a computer and view what’s happening as you would on a monitor. Likewise, serial or USB cables (depending on your computer’s ports) connect the ports of your SMART Board to a computer and VGA cables are used to connect the Board’s ports to a projector.