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Interactive smart boards are quickly becoming a must-have for modern classrooms, offices, and other workspaces in Kenya. These innovative boards offer major benefits over traditional dry-erase and chalkboards.
A smart board is typically:
- A large-format touch-sensitive whiteboard
- Connected to a computer and projector
- Packed with collaborative software features
This allows presentations, documents, images, videos and more to be displayed. Content can then be annotated on using touch pens or fingers.
Smart boards empower dynamic group work and learning. Multiple people can gather around and directly engage with the content by writing, drawing, manipulating images, saving work digitally, printing out, and more.
Some key advantages of smart boards:
- Increase engagement and collaboration
- Allow easy inclusion of rich multimedia content
- Provide tools to annotate, save and distribute material
- Foster participation from anyone in the room
- Create engaging lessons, trainings and presentations
- Enhance productivity in meetings and workshops
This blog post will explore the key things schools, offices and others in Kenya need to know when purchasing and implementing these innovative collaboration boards.
Types of Smart Boards
There are a few main types of interactive smart boards available in the Kenyan market:
1. Interactive Whiteboards
These are the original and most common variety of smart boards in Kenya. They consist of:
- A large high-resolution whiteboard surface
- Wall-mounted or freestanding with support arms
- Paired with a short throw projector mounted nearby
- Control system with pens and eraser
The projector beams images and content onto the whiteboard. Users can then fluidly annotate, highlight, manipulate images and text, erase content, print, save locally or to the cloud, and more.
These offer the most native-feeling writing experience since you’re directly interacting with an actual whiteboard surface.
2. Interactive Flat Panel Displays
Flat panel smart boards integrate the display and writing surface together in a slim, modern profile. These consist of:
- An ultra HD LED monitor with touch overlay
- Screen sizes ranging from 55″ to 86″
- Built-in Android computing module
- Pens, eraser and sometimes remote control
Because the display surface is the board, flat panels allow very precise and lag-free writing and touch interaction. Many also support up to 20 touch points.
Thinner than whiteboards, they can fit in more spaces but do come at a premium.
3. Interactive Video Walls
Video wall smart boards tile multiple displays together to create one massive digital canvas:
- Arranged in various configs like 2×2, 3×3, 4×4
- 55-85 inch commercial displays with narrow bezel
- Outputs driven through a controller
- Rear touch overlay allows annotation
Stitching displays provides an incredibly immersive experience thanks to the scale. Certain panels can also be set interactively while others show static content. High cost but ideal for large rooms.
Here are some common optional accessories available for smart boards:
- Height-adjustable stands – Let users sit or stand
- Wall mounts – For mounting boards safely
- Trusted pens and erasers – High performing w/smart features
- Remote controls – Allows operating boards from anywhere in the room
Key Features and Benefits
Smart boards unlock a wide array of advantageous and innovative features not possible with traditional dry erase or chalk boards.
Here are some of the most notable capabilities:
At their core, all interactive boards allow direct touch control of content from the screen surface.
- Using included pens and eraser accessories
- Touch gestures like swipe, drag/drop, pinch/zoom
- Precisely annotate over documents, images, video and any content
This tactile interaction facilitates dynamic presentations and workshops, group learning, collective note taking, collaborative design sessions, and more.
Smart boards seamlessly connect with software ecosystems and learning management systems:
- Microsoft – Office, OneNote, Teams, Whiteboard
- Google – Workspace, Jamboard
- Popular education/business apps
- Annotation over any content
This allows powerful integrations with existing workflows and unlocking platform-specific features.
Most boards allow wireless casting of content from other devices:
- Screen mirror laptops, mobile devices using WiDi or Miracast
- Annotate over shared content from your seat
- Pass control between multiple presenter devices
Makes boards highly accessible for meetings and learning environments.
Advanced models boast enhanced multi-user capabilities:
- Recognize multiple touch points at once
- Allow simultaneous co-annotation from different users
- Up to 20 touch points on certain flat panels
This facilitates more engaging group interactivity.
Natively interact with cloud storage for accessing and saving work:
- Google Drive
- Microsoft OneDrive
Conveniently manage content remotely.
Built-In Android OS
Flat panels feature integrated Android computing:
- Standalone operation without external device
- Download Android apps, content and files
- Update display software/firmware
Less hardware required for streamlined setup.
By harnessing the collective capabilities above, smart boards create dynamic and productive environments for meetings, teaching, creative sessions and other applications.
Choosing the Right Smart Board in Kenya
With various types, sizes and specifications now available, selecting the ideal interactive board takes some careful consideration around:
- Small meeting rooms vs large conferences
- Auditorium presentations vs intimate workshops
- Engineering design sessions vs art classrooms
Required viewing angles, seating arrangements, audience sizes and applications should inform form factors and features.
Dimensions affect suitable applications and viewing experience:
- 65-75 inch – Optimal for small-mid size rooms
- 80+ inch – Better suits larger rooms
- Multi-panel video walls – For expansive display surface
Factor in room dimensions, seating proximity to board, projected audience size and content format.
Common options include:
- 16:9 – Best for widescreen media playback
- 16:10 – More vertical space for documents
- Custom – Specialized applications
Determine required crispness and clarity:
- FHD 1080p – Entry level sharpness
- Quad HD 4K – Visualizes finer detail
- Ultra HD & 8K – For razor clarity
High density displays enhance annotations/visibility but cost more.
- LED – Vivid colors, strong contrast. Mainstream choice.
- OLED – Most vivid/responsive. Premium pricing.
- LCD – Affordable but image quality not as robust.
Important for precision annotations:
- < 8 ms – Render movements with good fluidity
- < 5 ms – Ideal for lag-free illustration
Faster is smoother.
Touch & Writing
Consider touch and writing fidelity:
- Touch points – More touch points enhance collaboration
- Palm rejection – Helps avoid accidental touches
- Pen sensitivity – Pressure levels for dynamic width strokes
Built-in stands offer convenient mobility but take up space. Consider:
- Fixed vs adjustable – Ability to change height/angles
- Wheels – Roll unit to different locations
- Wall mount – Alternative space-saving option
Extra accessories that may be useful:
- Pens – Specialized pointer pens
- Erasers – Erase annotations
- Remote – Control from your seat
Look for quantity and type of ports needed:
- HDMI – Universal display input
- VGA – Legacy video input
- USB – Connect storage, peripherals
- LAN port – Hardwire internet
Top Smart Board Vendors in Kenya
A variety of technology manufacturers have added interactives boards to their portfolio of visual display solutions.
Here are some of the most prominent vendors with models available in the Kenyan market currently:
A dominant force in interactives thanks to deep software integrations with their ecosystem.
Microsoft Surface Hub 2S
- Sleek 50” or 85” 4K rotating flat panels
- Seamless Office 365 and Teams integration
- Multi-user Whiteboard and collaboration tools
- Advanced conferencing cameras and far-field mic arrays
- Integrated edge compute hardware with WiFi and Bluetooth
Web-based boards natively built for Google Workspace cloud.
- 55” 4K LED touchscreen on locking stand
- Jam sessions with remote G Suite users
- Cloud-based for real-time collaboration
- Notes auto-save to associated Google Drive
- Simple lightweight design for mobility
Integrates directly with their leading video conferencing platform.
Cisco Webex Board
- 55”-85” 4K touch-enabled LED panels
- Run Webex meeting platform directly
- Wireless casting, annotations
- Webex Assistant AI integrations
- Quad camera, microphones, speakers
Specializes solely in education-focused interactive solutions.
Promethean ActivPanel Titanium
- Refined pen-on-paper writing feel
- Classroom-optimized lesson features
- Educational suites like ClassFlow
- 65” to 86” 4K models
Offers both flat panels and traditional whiteboard models.
- High-performing interactive flat panels
- Budget Mimio traditional whiteboards
- Software like MimioStudio
- Sizes from 55” to 98”
Focus on commercial applications like meeting rooms.
- Interactive flat panels and whiteboards
- Commercial-oriented feature sets
- Installed base reporting
- USA-based support services
Leverage their seasoned LCD display engineering capabilities.
Sharp Windows Collaboration Display
- 70″ 4K with integrated Windows 10 computer
- 20-point infrared touch overlay
- Annotation software pre-installed
- Aquos Board interactive display
This covers some main options but additional competing vendors continue emerging as the industry expands. We represent many top models from these brands.
In fact, some of the brands you will find in our store include:
ViewSonic offers interactive flat panel displays known as ViewBoard, which are ideal for education and business environments. These displays come in various sizes, such as 65″ and 75″, and feature 4K Ultra HD resolution and multi-touch capabilities.
They also support a range of connections, including HDMI, USB, and VGA. The ViewBoard displays allow multiple users to annotate on the screen simultaneously, and they come with built-in software for wireless content sharing and collaboration.
Additionally, ViewSonic provides a suite of software tools called myViewBoard, which includes annotation tools, multiple presentation options, and cloud storage. The displays can be used for presentations, brainstorming sessions, and decision-making processes, and they are designed to enhance engagement and collaboration.
Huawei offers a range of interactive displays under the IdeaHub series, designed for various collaboration scenarios.
The IdeaHub is an interactive display that integrates 4K or full HD video conferencing, intelligent writing, and wireless sharing, making offices, classrooms, and meeting rooms smarter.
The IdeaHub Board 2 is specifically tailored for education, integrating teaching hardware and a software ecosystem to provide a one-stop smart classroom solution.
On the other hand, the IdeaHub S2 is a meeting room interactive display that delivers an innovative meeting experience, with features such as HD video, acoustic noise shielding, and Wi-Fi 6 for direct projection technology.
Additionally, Huawei’s IdeaHub Interactive Whiteboard is an all-in-one collaborative smart board that integrates essential functions of an interactive whiteboard, video conference, projection, and information sharing.
The IdeaHub B2 is the next-generation intelligent meeting panel, featuring 1080p HD cloud conferencing experience and an optical anti-blue light screens.
These products are designed to enhance collaboration and productivity in various environments.
Their interactive displays integrate the functions of a projector, whiteboard, advertising signage, computer, microphone, audio, etc. to satisfy the needs of local meetings and remote collaborations.
They also offer flexible accessories options and software solutions to enable brainstorming, content sharing, instant video calls, and device management.
Maxhub’s products are designed for enterprise and education solutions, and they offer conferencing solutions for all room sizes.
The 75″ Advanced Interactive Display by Hisense is a high-quality interactive digital board designed for various applications, such as businesses, educational institutions, and conference rooms. Key features of this interactive display include:
- 4K Ultra HD: The display offers perfect color and rich details in various environments, ranging from shops to restaurants and office buildings.
- Plug-in Camera: The optional plug-in camera has an ultra-wide 120° angle, allowing for smooth videoconferencing. The 4K monitoring image sensor ensures clear visibility of people even in dark light conditions.
- Screen Transmission: The WR series interactive digital boards can wirelessly connect with two or more auxiliary screen devices. Near-Field Communication (NFC) touch transmission and A&C screen transmission simplify the process.
- Array Microphones: Six array microphones filter out ambient noise, providing an optimal video conference experience without auditory distractions.
- Automatic Sound Bar: The power of the sound bar can be turned on or off simultaneously with the interactive digital board, creating an instant auditory experience.
- Collaborative Interaction: The touchscreen recognizes up to 20 touches at once, making it ideal for simultaneous use by meeting attendees.
- Built-in Whiteboard App: Users can smoothly write, draw, and erase information on-screen through touch, either by hand or with a stylus pen.
- Intuitive Controls: Users can switch between tasks, annotate content from any source, make handwritten notes, zoom in/out, and undo changes with their fingers.
- Powerful Architecture: The display is powered by an octa-core processor and 3+32GB large memory, ensuring smooth and speedy processing.
- Tempered Glass: Hisense’s WR series features heat-treated tempered glass, preventing damage to the touch panels.
- Anti-Glare Optical Technology: The technology diffuses mirror-like reflections and bright lights, helping to keep the content on the screen visible.
The 75″ Advanced Interactive Display by Hisense is a versatile and user-friendly solution for various applications, offering a combination of advanced features and intuitive design to enhance collaboration and interaction.
Please check our online store for current inventory with pricing.
Key Purchasing Considerations
Once you’ve settled on the ideal display size, dimensions, and features, there remain some key factors around acquisition and implementation:
Costs vary greatly depending on:
- Screen size
- Display resolution/panel technology
- Computing hardware integrations
- Accessories and warranty
But expect to budget:
- Interactive Whiteboards – $1,500 – $3,000+
- Flat Panels – $2,500 – $5,000
- From $3,500 up to $15,000+
Volume discounts available for bulk purchases across chains and districts.
Consider total lifetime value against alternatives. These modern solutions promise strong ROI long-term through enriched learning, collaboration, engagement and productivity.
Factors around delivery:
- Special handling requirements of larger delicate units
- Import taxes that swell costs
- Provide school/office addresses, contact names
- Secure storage options until installation
Setup & Installation
Consider physical mounting, cable routing and location challenges:
- Unit dimensions and weights
- Wall reinforcement, mounting brackets
- Available wiring paths to device
While most boards are very intuitive, training helps users capitalize on full potential:
- Onboarding workshops with packaged content
- Admin training for device managers
- IT support training for troubleshooting
Warranties & Support
Maximize uptime via strong service plans:
- Advanced parts replacement warranties
- Onsite support response times
- Local vs international help desks
So factor these key aspects into your budgeting, logistics, and rollout planning. Our BuyTec sales engineers can further consult around ideal procurement and implementation strategies tailored to your specific environment.
The Future of Smart Boards
As prices fall and capabilities rise, interactive smart boards promise to Claim an increasing role as a standard essential technology in modern offices, conference rooms, higher education and K-12 classrooms.
Here are some emerging improvements and trends that demonstrate these solutions still remain early on the adoption curve:
Fixed installations will feature ever-larger displays thanks to narrower bezels and emerging manufacturing techniques:
- Seamless video walls comprised of countless panels
- Curved and flexible form factors
- Immersive floor-to-ceiling digital canvases
More display real estate facilitates more collaborative engagement from broader audiences.
Improved display engine technology will make annotations and viewed content increasingly crisp:
- Mainstream adoption of 8K resolution
- High dynamic range (HDR) for dazzling contrast and colors
- High frame rates for smoother motion clarity
Allowing truly life-like and lag-free interaction.
boards add intelligence and automation:
- Voice control via assistants like Siri, Alexa and Google Voice
- AI-driven meeting productivity features
- Automated transcriptions, background noise suppression and more to optimize video conferencing and learning environments
Making interaction more convenient while optimizing outcomes.
Eco-conscious enhancements like:
- Lower energy consumption through LED advancement
- Mercury-free panels
- Integrated sensors to automatically power down during periods of inactivity
Will please cost and environmentally-conscious buyers.
Economies of scale and display panel competition combine to make solutions ever more affordable allowing better access across education systems and enterprises:
- Decrease TCO
- Enable broader adoption
Driving pervasive penetration.
So for all the reasons above, conscious adoption of smart boards in Kenya promises to transform static workspaces and classrooms into dynamic, immersive and intuitive environments that will unlock richer levels of ideation, creativity, productivity and human collaboration.
Please visit our online store for current models available from Kenya with pricing. Or contact us to discuss bulk pricing and special financing rates to equip your organization across locations.