[AG-TECH] SmartBoard + Screens?

David E. Bernholdt bernhold at jumby.csm.ornl.gov
Tue Aug 28 10:26:54 CDT 2001

In the conference room we're building, we don't have a huge amount of
space.  In total it is about 14' (front/back wall) x 22' (side walls).
The room was originally two, and in the middle there are vestiges of
the original wall in the form of a 20" projection from the side walls
(think of a ~10' wide dorrway or portal in the middle of the room).

I'd like to have a 3-projector tiled display for the AG _and_ a
SmartBoard (interactive whiteboard) that could be used with AG or
separately.  The "portal" in the middle of the room makes it hard to
position a whiteboard on a side wall so as to be uniformly visible.

So I was thinking of a couple of options, and I'd appreciate comments
on the relative merits of each from those with more experience...

I could put the SmartBoard and the AG display on the same wall
(four-across) only if the AG video is pretty small (~ 3' x 2.25'
each). Advantage: the AG display would be uninterrupted.
Disadvantage: it would be pretty small.

If I made the SmartBoard _part_ of the AG screen, it could be 4'x3'
per image.  The disadvantages I see are (1) since the SmartBoard has a
small bezel around it, there is no way to avoid a small break in the
continuity of the screen, and (2) I don't know how closely I can match
the optical properties of the SmartBoard in the rest of the screen.  I
think I can partially counter the first problem by arranging for the
screen edge to overlap the SmartBoard bezel, but there will still be a
small visual "glitch".  The wall is not completely flat, so we're
going to have to engineer a screen surface anyway (can't just paste on
WallTalkers stuff).

I thought about other approaches, like trying to build/buy a large
screen that would hang just in front of the SmartBoard, but that would
(1) prevent use of the SmartBoard with the AG, and (2) give two
different focal plans for the projector associated with the
SmartBoard.  The latter problem would require an additional projector
or refocusing to switch back and forth.  It seems like zoom functions
are usually available on projector remotes, but not focus, so this
would quickly become tedious for ceiling-mounted projectors.

I don't know how important display size and continuity are to AG
users, or how to balance one against the other. Feedback and
suggestions welcome. Thanks!
David E. Bernholdt                   |   Email: bernholdtde at ornl.gov 
Oak Ridge National Laboratory        |   Phone: +1 (865) 574 3147    
http://www.csm.ornl.gov/~bernhold/   |   Fax:   +1 (865) 574 0680    

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