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MicroTouch goes on board

MicroTouch makes its first foray into the consumer marketplace with the introduction of a new electronic whiteboard that sells for one-third of the price of similar products.

MicroTouch (MTSI), a maker of touch-input technology and software, is making its first foray into the consumer marketplace with the introduction of a new electronic whiteboard that sells for one-third of the price of similar products.

Ibid is an electronic whiteboard that allows users to store and distribute information drawn on a 2-foot by 3-foot panel for use in presentations, brainstorming, and note-taking. MicroTouch says Ibid will be offered for $499, while similar products are selling for $1,500 and more.

"We're taking a technology that has been of interest to a lot of people and taking it out of the boardroom and into virtually every room," says Greg McHale, president of MicroTouch's business products division.

Ibid hangs on a wall or cubicle and connects to a PC through a serial port interface. Users can touch icons on one side of the board to control print, erase, and pen color functions, as well as save snapshots of the screen.

A 32-bit Windows 95 application shows the information onscreen and can format information as a bitmapped file of Windows Metafile. Users can order screen snapshots into any sequence for use in presentation programs. Real-time conferencing is also possible with use of products like Microsoft's NetMeeting, McHale says.

Ibid requires at least a 25-MHz 486 PC with 8MB of RAM and 10MB of disk space. The software runs under Windows 3.x and Windows 95, with a Windows NT version expected in December of 1996. The product is currently available at computer and office retail outlets.