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Smart Technologies

Bluetooth for smart whiteboard

Brief

Smart Technologies, and its Bluetooth module supplier Sound Design, wanted to develop a wireless alternative to the USB cable between the user’s computer and their interactive whiteboard. The USB capability they had worked well, but it was restricting the ease of using the whiteboards, and a cable-free solution was seen as more user friendly.

Whiteboards are similar to standard human input devices (HID), but also have some additional unique features. Smart Technologies wanted to be able to support both these, and work with new and old computers that already had Bluetooth, or to offer a dongle that directly replaced its USB cable. A further challenge was that the whiteboard had a very demanding latency requirement to meet its user experience standards.

Approach

Cambridge Consultants designed a programme to define a solution that could work in two modes where the whiteboard was the same in both modes. Cambridge Consultants used its unique xIDE for Interface Express Bluetooth development toolkit to develop a native application to run on a BC04 from CSR plc.

This toolkit includes Cambridge Consultants’ Bluestack® Bluetooth stack and Interface Express™ profile library, which significantly accelerates the time to develop complex Bluetooth devices and accessories. The toolkit also enables the development of software that runs natively on the XAP processor within the Bluecore devices.

Cambridge Consultants developed software for both ends of the link.

Benefit

Smart Technologies was able to add wireless connectivity to its market-leading interactive whiteboard range to provide easier installation and use, extending its leadership position.

The provision of the specific USB dongle ensured that the existing Smart software could work on PCs and MACs, with all the existing features of the USB cable, but with no cable. The whiteboard could also be used with PCs and MACs using their internal Bluetooth if available, but with some reduced functionality.

From specification to launch occurred within four months.