Mimio Whiteboard Line Enhanced

CHICAGO (04/21/2000) - Virtual Ink Corp. announced this week at Spring Comdex two new products in its Mimio line of tools for teachers and instructors that turns an ordinary whiteboard into a space for capturing and digitizing handwritten notes and diagrams.

One of the new products, Mimio DirectPrint, is a peripheral that makes it easier to print handouts straight from the whiteboard. The other product, BoardCast, is a software update for Mimio users who want to use it in conjunction with the Internet for distributed learning.

DirectPrint lets users send an image of anything drawn or written on a whiteboard directly to a printer, bypassing a PC. The device is small -- about the size of a deck of cards -- and plugs into a serial connection on the Mimio capture bar on one end and the parallel port of any PCL 3 printer on the other.

The capture bar is a 24-inch-by-3.5-inch foldable arm that suctions to the whiteboard along the left side and uses sonic receivers to track the movements as well as the ink color and thickness of the markers, which fit into a special holder or stylus. The capture bar picks up the sound emitted at a specific frequency by the stylus when writing on the whiteboard.

DirectPrint is scheduled to ship in the third quarter at an estimated price of US$199, Virtual Ink officials said. The Mimio capture bar, marker holder and eraser cost $499.

BoardCast is a Web content product for RealNetworks Inc.'s RealSystem G2 platform. It synchronizes handwriting on a Mimio-equipped whiteboard with voice and streams all the data over the Web to RealNetworks RealPlayer 7 users, Virtual Ink officials said. A presenter or teacher can use BoardCast to stream presentations live over the Internet and can archive the material for on-demand viewing later.

BoardCast is scheduled for release in June at a suggested retail price of $249.

Virtual Ink also unveiled the two new products at a trade show for federal government technology buyers this week in Washington, D.C. An affiliate of the IDG News Service, the venture capital firm IDG Ventures, has invested in Virtual Ink, a privately held company founded in 1997.

Virtual Ink, based in Boston, can be reached at +1-617-623-8387 or found on the Web at http://www.virtual-ink.com.

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