Connected Objects

Pixcil plus smartphone turns any surface into virtual whiteboard

editors-choiceInteractive whiteboards are convenient tools for people to use to draw and write on to communicate ideas with anybody else in the room at the same time as other people around the world. But they can be too expensive than the average person can afford.

Pixcil is an inexpensive digital pen that turns virtually any surface into a virtual whiteboard when used in conjunction with a smartphone. It captures writing and drawing in real time and stores the info in a secured database. From its accompanying app, users can invite people to view or write on the board, as well as make changes such as the color of the virtual pen being used to write.

The product ships in early 2017 at future pricing of $15 for the pen, $25 for a marker and $20 for an optional holder that uses magnets or screws to attach to a surface and provides an easy and secure way to position the smartphone being used while writing. Its makers hope to raise $50,000 by Sept. 26.

Pixcil could be a convenient tool for many people, including engineers, designers and teachers. But there are several similar rival products, including Smart Scribe. Pixcil is indeed affordable, but some may find the $5 a month charge to use the smartphone app to be excessive. The biggest negative — for now anyway -– may be the relatively small number of smartphones it is compatible with: just iPhone 5S and more recent Apple models. But Android support is promised soon also.


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