TEAM 22: Virtual Whiteboard
Spring 2012



Whiteboard is convenient, but you can't carry it around. Writing/Drawing in software is useful, but hard to draw with mouse.

BIG QUESTION: Why not combine them?

The idea is to create a portable device that can easily connected to a projector, which projects a virtual whiteboard on any flat surface. People can use a line source (LED pen or laser) to write on the virtual board. Then the device will track that light source and reflect writing/drawing on the virtual whiteboard. Eventually, the idea is to create a whiteboard-like virtual workspace.

A portable projected whiteboard.


It's common for people to have video conferences with a software whiteboard on their pc. But everyone knows how hard to write with a mouse. No one has ever came up with an idea of a shared whiteboard that is virtually projected so that people can directly write on it and see the changes.


Conventional Whiteboard Wii Virtualboard Web-based Whiteboard Collaborative V-Board
Porability N Y Y Y
User Frindliness Y N Y Y
Collaboration Y Y Y Y
Writing Quality Y N N Y
Scalability Y N Y Y
Easy to Setup N N Y Y


Hardware: Software: Protocols:



Risk mitigation plan
Communication between phone and board does not work No mitigation plan, this is the key component of our project.
Wi-Fi communication between multiple boards does not work Seek alternate communication protocols through smartphones
Significant lag between user input and board output Redistribute workload between the smartphone and the board.
Smartphone may not be able to pick up LED information correctly Write a better algorithm to track the LED
LED is not bright enough to be picked up Use a laser as the light source.
Concurrency problem between multiple boards Introduce more locking, trade speed for correctness


Some pictures of different colored LED lightsources

Image of user using LED pen

Screenshot of output display program

display openGL source code

Ambitions/Potential Upgrades

From Number of Users Stand Point:
1. The version 1 uses USB as connection between client and server, which the board can only support limited number of clients. So we can use Wi-Fi to overcome this problem and our board is able to support more clients. But this virtual board is still limited in a room.
2. If 1 is working, we can establish links between multiple "server ends" to create a "virtual conference room" where multiple virtual boards can be created and shared.

From Efficiency and Effectiveness Stand Point:
1. Integrate RF-ID with LED pens and phones, so that one phone can only track one LED pen and will not get interference from other LED pens.

From User Experience Stand Point:
1. Create a "virtual eraser" that works with LED pens so that users can erase what they wrote without resetting their phone's point list. May be another device equipped with set of LEDs and accelerometer, which looks like a square. When user wave the 'eraser' it should change accelerometer readings and then trigger LEDS.
2. Make the LED pen be able to shine in different colored LED so that people can write in different colors or users can select the color from the phone.

From Virtual Conference Stand Point:
1. Users should also be able to upload files from their android phones and share across other boards, or display on this board.

Design Document

Proposal Presentation PPT


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