Ricoh, the company you probably best know for its digital cameras, has teamed up with E Ink to launch a huge new smart whiteboard product. Called the Ricoh eWhiteboard 4200, this new model packs a 42-inch electronic ink display that resembles paper, allowing users to write on the surface the same way they would a regular whiteboard — but with some seemingly magical features that make this product far more useful.
E Ink produces screens that feature electronic ink technology; it’s the same kind of panel you’ll find in an e-reader like the Kindle, for example. This same screen can be found in much larger sizes, as evidenced by Ricoh’s new eWhiteboard 4200. The model’s 42-inch E Ink Carta panel offers a paper-like writing surface that requires very little energy, yet can be used as a tablet screen and connected to WiFi.
This new whiteboard offers a unique way to collaborate with others even if you’re not in the same room. Thanks to the product’s WiFi support, two different whiteboards can be connected together, mirroring handwritten input from one board to the other. This can, for example, be used to sketch out concept ideas in real-time with someone who is located in a different office or beyond.
Despite its size, the eWhiteboard 4200 is very slim at a little over a half-inch thick, plus it only weighs around 13lbs. Ricoh has packed a rechargeable battery into the display to offer power in situations where it may not be readily available (when in use at a construction site, for example). The device likewise offers a waterproof and dust-proof design for rough environments.
This is the first whiteboard to offer this type of two-pen solution, according to Ricoh. The appeal is easy to see given how many people continue to work remotely and how many companies plan to embrace hybrid work environments that include remote work. Sadly, Ricoh says it is only offering the eWhiteboard 4200 in Japan; it’s unclear when/if it will be made available in other markets.