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Smartmarker captures, streams whiteboard drawings in real time

Equil's Smartpen technology heads to the boardroom, effectively making any whiteboard surface "smart."

Luidia Inc.

The whiteboard is a staple of offices, conference rooms and classrooms, yet it's pretty much the same old "dumb" dry-erase board it's been for decades.

Luidia's Equil Smartmarker adds digital-capture capabilities to nearly any whiteboard. And it's not just capture-now-view-later, but rather real-time penstroke gathering that can be transmitted in real time to phones, tablets and computers -- even if they're not in the same room.

If the name sounds familiar, you might be thinking of the Equil Smartpen 2 that debuted on Indiegogo last year and is now a completed retail product. It captured pen input via a special sensor you clipped to the top of your notepad or clipboard or even cocktail napkin.

Luidia Inc.

The Smartmarker likewise consists of two components: a sensor that attaches to the board and a sleeve that houses a standard dry-erase marker. Together, they allow you to scribble the way you normally would, but the sensor captures everything for storage, sharing and syncing.

The sensor can actually work with not only whiteboards, but also walls painted with dry-erase paint and even glass -- anything up to 16 feet in size. In addition to storing digitized penstrokes in its internal memory, it can automatically stream the session to Android and iOS apps and Windows and Mac PCs. The system can sync data to cloud services like Dropbox and Evernote as well.

The Equil Smartmarker will be available for preorder next month, with shipping expected before the end of the first quarter, according to a company rep. It will have a retail price of $699.95 in the US, which translates to around £460 in the UK and about AU$900 in Australia.