Interactive whiteboards in the classroom have been plagued by any number of problems.  Often mis-calibrated, sometimes proprietary, always expensive – and it forces the teacher to be in front of the classroom. It’s high time for an alternative to the old “teacher stands in front of the whiteboard” trick.

Enter PenVue, a very different approach to the standard teacher/whiteboard interaction. PenVeu looks like a big fat pen. Hidden inside the pen are 12 accelerometers, 3 gyroscopes and an optical system. Invisible targets are embedded on the screen – hidden to the viewer. All this tech means it never needs to be recalibrated.

The pen can be used as a either a pen to draw, write, or mouse. You can highlight and erase. The teacher can use it from anywhere in the classroom, or hand it over to the child in the back row. PenVeu is compatible with any large screen display or projection device.

The pen is sold with a “black box” peripheral that accepts a VGA cable from the display and a VGA cable to the PC. The pen itself is wireless. The cost? $500, a fraction of the price of an interactive whiteboard and way more portable and flexible.

Switching PenVue between pen and mouse, and learning its other, more specific capabilities (for example pressing harder in pen mode draws a thicker line) takes some getting used to, but gaining the freedom to walk away from the board and pass the pen around the classroom could make a huge difference in how teachers teach.

To see the PenVue in action, watch the videos. It’s a product worth investigating for classrooms or boardrooms.