An innovative electronic pen that very well could take the place of whiteboard markers is on test in schools in the United States.
According to BBC, Penveu, a handheld wireless electronic device that works on any surface, is to be tried out soon in Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest in the United States with an enrolment population of 770,000.
Penveu’s manufacturers say it is much cheaper than the whiteboard systems in stores today.
The gadget, which can write, point and highlight on any flat surface, such as a bare wall, a computer monitor or a pull down screen, costs $499 (£312) for educational use – minimal in comparison to prevailinginteractive whiteboards that can cost up to £2, 000 or more.
Moreover, Penveu is easier to set up and use than the customary whiteboards.
Penveu becomes a very precise and interactive whiteboard that both teachers and students can use either in close up or in the back of the classroom.
The technology known as “embedded computer vision” is being used in the electronic pen. This technology was first designed for satellites and military navigation systems.
Interphase Corporation, which is based in Texas, has been refining the technology over the past three years and has already applied for patents.
The gadget will be unveiled by the company at the Demo, a conference for developing technologies in Silicon Valley.
After connecting the pen to any VGA-ready device, which could be a conventional projector, a television or a computer monitor, running on any operating system, Penveu can draw, write and highlight in nine vivid colors without corroding or staining the surface.
The pen works like a portable electronic stick and the marks can be erased with a click of a button. Any content, such as lesson plans or slide presentations, can be saved for future use.
Warren Dale, who makes recommendations for technologies for schools in Los Angeles, is a quick fan. He says this generation of “hyper-connected” children “are used to a much higher level of stimulation”.
“Today’s kids are all about collaboration, Facebook, taking and sharing pictures, making and sharing movies,” he says in BBC.
“With Penveu, I can easily and inexpensively add another collaborative tool in the classroom.”
Dale says that as an educator with more than 30 years of experience, he had seen closely how classroom technology has helped improve student learning and test scores.
“I see [Penveu] making a major impact in US classrooms,” he adds.