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Check out the Vmarker - an interactive digital whiteboard!

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PowerPoint is so 1997. Well, ok, I'll admit PowerPoint still has its place - but jazzing it up a little bit is always a good idea. One way to do that is to use Vmarker - a new, interactive digital whiteboard.

The Vmarker uses a 72Mhz ARM Cortex M3 processor with 20KB RAM and 128kB flash memory and connects to your computer via USB. Basically, you use an IR "marker" to point to whatever you are projecting. The Vmarker is capable of reading where you are pointing and interfacing with your computer to interpret the "marker" as your mouse curser. You can use your marker to interact with your presentation or draw on screen. It doesn't require any special software and only need one free USB port. Basically, it's pretty dang cool. The Vmarker is still in revisions, but check out the video above to see how it works in its current state. Great project!

Comments 21 comments

  • Tough crowd.
    Gotta say though, I'm impressed after reading a little more closely. I have, of course, seen the WiiMote whiteboard project (uses the same IR Marker "Technology") And that is VERY cool. However, if I'm not mistaken, it does require special software. What do you get for special software? Well, the ability to track multiple points, so the whiteboard could potentially be multi-touch.
    The reason this project is impressive is because all of the tracking and signal conversion happen outside of the computer in the ARM processor. The box actually tracks the IR point, saves the calibration data, and converts the clicks into standard mouse coordinates. While multi-touch couldn't be achieved in this way, and while it isn't the most impressive technology (it's been done, and done.) it is a very impressive implementation of hardware controllers, and THAT is why it's here.
    Plug'n'play, hardware-based configuration, works reasonably well, universal (works with anything that uses a standard mouse)... aside from the fact that whenever the projects done they'll probably be charging an impractically large sum for it, it's pretty nifty.

    • Multitouch is the next big thing after right and left click implementation.
      The device also has a CDC interface(think serial port) and an other HID for config or multitouch and will also have a mass storage for the config application(this isn't needed but can be handy to show the battery level of the pens)

    • actually with the Vmarker you get multitouch. "Like the Wiimote, the Vmarker will recognize up to 4 IR dots, so multi-touch is also possible"

  • This reminds me of the SMART Boards back in college my profs loved to use.

  • No offense, but I really dis-like seeing "check out this new product" posts about products not available. Nice marketing on a potential product, but not new in concept in any way.

  • No offense, but I really dis-like seeing "check out this new product" posts about products not available. Nice marketing ona potential product, but not new in concept in any way.

  • Wow! where can I get that sensor? hey sparkfun, are you going to stock this sensor? please!!!

  • It makes sense, and I will take this way and look what happen. Thank you for your advice.

  • I don't get it. How's it different from the WiiMote project? For $35 you can buy a wiimote. the software is free, supports multipoint, and the wiimote is on BlueTooth (so wireless). How much $$ are all these things he's putting together at the beginning? It would be cooler of he had a Wiimote connected to a tiny Linux box that was connected to a projector. Then you could carry it around with you everywhere you go. You could even use it on a TV (don't press too hard).
    It was nice to see the same old thing done a new way though. And so plug and play.

  • My school replaced about half the chalk boards in the district with something very similar to these. They are really nice for writing on the board because tachers can save the notes they wrote from the previous day for each class and pull them up the next day. Pretty awesome stuff!

  • Nice job! It's definitely been done before, but I like this relatively simple and cheap solution to a problem that many people make way too complicated.
    However, I can't let this slide:
    "PowerPoint still has it's place" should be "PowerPoint still has its place."
    Never use "it's" for possession.

  • "curser"? I hope it is a "Good catch":D I thought about this idea before. Really cool.

  • Nice, I've been waiting for someone to do this.

  • meh... its been done before, and its open source in most cases.

    • Has it a USB connection?
      Is it a simple HID device, witch implicates that is just a mouse?
      All of the other opensource things use a webcam or a wiimote. This one not, you don't need to install anything on your pc!

    • I was scared when I refreshed this, as I thought the video was mine of the Wiimote Whiteboard project.

    • Really ??? This and a cerebal palsy grover got a post ? =[ .... SparkFun standards used to be higher... and more interesting.

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