Interactive technologies are commonplace in many meeting and classrooms, but how do these technologies drive collaboration? And, is there more to be done?
Last year saw the substantial growth in sales of interactive whiteboards and flat panel displays in the corporate and education sectors. Coupled with the 20 per cent rise in sales for the first half of 2013*, the demand for interactive technology is clearly healthy.
In particular, many organisations are using digital tools to nurture group collaboration. It is widely accepted that interactive tools improve interaction, providing users with a platform to communicate and share ideas more easily. Interactive whiteboards, such as eno , allow users to make notes, draw diagrams, and write directly on the whiteboard, while interactive LCDs can be linked with separate venues for two-way communication and video conferencing.
“Bring Your Own Device” era
In business environments, the “Bring Your Own Device” or BYOD era is reshaping collaboration, with many employees using their own smartphone or tablet to share visuals and information. Equally, in the education sector, tablets are gaining popularity with the number in classrooms doubling in 2012, and the number in schools in England expected to 260,000 by the end of 2013, according to a report published by the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA).
At the same time, in corporate spaces specifically, there is still a deficit in the meeting room infrastructure. According to a recent survey on the Obstacles to Effective Business Meetings**, 68 per cent of business leaders lack the technology to share content from a mobile device during a meeting. Even more surprising, the survey shows that the majority of executives still use hard copies of presentations to share content in meetings they attend.
Infrastructure and provision
It appears that while organisations see the benefits of - and in some cases, embrace - technologies such as smartphones and tablets, there is still more to be done in facilitating the use of interactive tools. As these technologies continue to evolve, they will create more opportunities for collaboration, however, policymakers must provide sufficient provision in meeting rooms and classrooms. Only then will stakeholders see the real ‘collaborative value’ of interactive technology.
A+K offers a range of interactive and touchscreen solutions designed to underpin group collaboration and knowledge transfer
in corporate and education applications.
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