While attending the 2011 Autodesk University conference, Dave Speer, the co-founder of Lighting Analysts, a Littleton, Colorado company that designs illumination engineering software, was intrigued by a very large touch screen that was, in essence, an interactive whiteboard. He found it intriguing because it would be a much more effective way to share information among team members during their regular business development meetings.
“Normally, we’re gathered around someone’s desk or a conference table passing around a laptop, which is not ideal, or in the conference room projecting documents onto a screen, which is not interactive,” explained Speer, who is also the firm’s Director of Sales and Marketing.
Bigger Picture, Better Features
Fast forward to early 2014.
Speer was in Anaheim at a Building Information Modeling (BIM) workshop where he met Darren Boihem, the Director of Technology, BIM & Rendering Services for ARC Document Solutions. When he found out that ARC had its own big-screen interactive whiteboard, his intrigue was piqued yet again.
He was immediately impressed with ARC’s interactive whiteboard, SkySite SmartScreen.
SmartScreen comes with a high-quality, 65-inch touch screen and an onboard integrated computer that makes it more powerful than most interactive whiteboards. It uses a Windows 8 operating system, enabling desktop computer functionality like internet browsing. It also has the ability to sync with SkySite’s cloud-based collaboration platform. This feature enables you to make annotations right on the screen and then save them in real-time for printing, emailing, or sharing.
“It’s all very graphical and colorful, which makes it so easy to exchange ideas,” he said. “Truthfully, I can see any software development shop using it, especially for user interface design and feedback on prototypes — and being able to annotate on top of the actual software is invaluable. We’re always developing new tools and features and we need to see them in action.”
Shortly thereafter, Jim Elder, Managed Print Services Specialist in ARC’s Denver Service Center, got in touch with Speer to setup the SmartScreen, taking all of 15 minutes.
It’s only been about a month, but Speer couldn’t be happier.
“The beauty of the SmartScreen for us is the ability for several development team members to “interact” (touch and annotate) the software while it is running. It’s great for discussions on user interface design. SmartScreen allows us to visualize software that’s under development and to see if any problems arise, which we can then fix. Previously we used a projector which did not offer the ability to annotate the software. We just used to do a lot of pointing!”
As for the rest of the Lighting Analysts contingent, everyone seems to be very happy with the SmartScreen as well.
“Since we got it, I haven’t used my projector once,” beamed Speer. “I’ve scored big points with the staff for that.”