Have you ever found yourself wishing you had something large to draw on during a meeting to share your big idea with your staff or coworkers? Something to share notes openly, but all you had was a TV or a projector nearby but no PC with special app to pull anything off with? Or, maybe you want to have a quick meeting at the hotel before your team embarks on a journey to sell your product in a new town or show. Sometimes it would be nice to have a good old fashion whiteboard to doodle on as those never let you down right?
As long as you have a smartphone or tablet nearby, now you can. All you need is that smart device of yours, and any kind of display let it be monitor, TV or projector. Now, just make sure you can connect your smartphone or tablet to that display somehow, let it be by HDMI adapter of sorts or wireless sharing (ie, MHL, Chromecast, etc. Everyone working out so far? Good. Now, you want to get your hands on a GoTouch by Anyractive.
The GoTouch is a pen/camera combo that pairs to your device via Bluetooth and allows you to turn that display of yours into a interactive digital whiteboard that you can draw on. The camera monitors the display with a 4K infrared sensor to track where you are using the pen. Kind of cool right? It doesn’t just stop there. You can share PDFs, images, websites, powerpoints, videos and more using their app. All of which, you can doodle on.
Of course, you can imagine we made sure to be on our best behavior when testing this out. No devil horns were drawn onto the faces of others using this device. Ok, maybe that’s a bit of a fib. Many horns and mustaches took place during our testing, as well as cartoon eyes, ears and so much more. A lot of entertainment to be had, which takes you so far past a standard whiteboard experience. Not only will you be the highlight of your meeting in terms of a successful presentation, but you will also be the comedy of the day, giving your attendees something to talk about at lunch.
Getting everything together was easy since all you are doing is pairing your GoTouch to your device and sharing your device’s screen to the display. So really, all you are doing is drawing and controlling everything on your tablet with the pen and the display sees everything going on.
You can pair the GoTouch to your device from within the app quite easily. You siply tap on the G icon at the bottom, go to “Setting” and click on “Bluetooth”. As long as the camera is powered on, you should see it. It’s as simple as that. Now share your phone/tablet to the display and off you go.
You are supposed to position the camera at about 45 degrees from the screen and at a distance of about 1.5x the size of the display you are using. The 45 degree angle is so the camera can see what’s going on at the display even with you standing close to it. The camera can detect where the pen is in relation to the screen, and respond appropriately in the app as if the display itself was a touchscreen. You can use the pen to draw or select items such as the menus an so forth. Both items are completely wireless and you charge the camera using a microUSB cable. You get up to 4 hours of use out of a single charge.
Once everything is connected together, it will run you through a 4-point calibration to make sure it can properly track the pen. From within the app, you control what content you want on the screen or if you just want a basic whiteboard.
Taking it one more step, you can share the screen with others as well, in case some of your participants are located elsewhere–like clear across the world.
The accuracy isn’t bad at all, although it isn’t perfect. Our handwriting did look a little funny at times, but it was more than doable throughout the experience. Drawing on images and video was also a lot of fun and you can imagine how useful this would be when trying to explain something visually.
The app itself still needs some work. It does what its supposed to go, however it crashes a lot. Usually when we go to open an image or if you bounce out of the screen to multi-task and come back, it would crash. I am sure they will have most or all of these bugs worked out once the product launches.
The camera and pen all combine together and stand up straight to store easily, so you can leave is sitting on your desk or meeting room table, next to that Cisco or Polycom phone you more than likely have sitting there. It takes only seconds to get everything working and you are off to present.
Currently, the model supports iOS and Android only, but in March, they will be shipping out the 2.0 version of the GoTouch which will also support Windows devices, including PCs. All of our testing was done using a 7-inch Android tablet and app. Currently, they are taking pre-orders via Kickstarter and Indigogo (as well as their website, www.anyractive.com)
The price is great, at just $69 if you pre-order as an early-bird during the campaign and will be raising to $89 once it releases.
It works quite well and it doesn’t run you hundreds of dollars to set up. This allows any size company to even an individual worker to get their hands on one without threatening the budget. Accuracy is good enough for most situations and I am sure it is only going to get better as they work on the software. As for the crashing on Android, hopefully that will be eliminated by the time it releases as well. Over-all, we can all forsee a lot of companies companies wanting to get their hands on one of these. It makes for a great companion in the meeting room–wherever the meeting room may be for you, even if it’s in the hallway outside the actual meeting room, or a Holiday Inn Express. It fell into a great score of 7 out of 10 for us and can easily gain some extra weight once the app is improved on and the new unit launches fully supporting Windows devices in the future.
*Average price is based on the time this article was published
Are you a manufacturer or distributor that would like us to test something out for review? Contact us and we can let you know where to send the product and we will try it out.