19 April 2012
DALLAS–Semiconductor and sensor technology used for years to guide precision bombs and cruise missiles is making its way into the hands of teachers–for peaceful purposes.
Penveu, a mobile wireless technology from a unit of Interphase here, this week announced its first product, intending to disrupt the $1.8 billion interactive white board market.
The handheld penveu is a tear-drop-shaped device that users hold in the palm of their hand as a remote-writing device or wireless mouse. The disruptive angle in penveu does not require its own special project or screen. (Here's a link to a video demo of the technology).
Where interactive white board solutions can cost $7,000 and above, penveu (at least for teachers) costs $499. Users can manipulate or capture any image projected on any screen or backdrop. It works in part because the technology — including a small control module that ties into a laptop and projector — embeds hidden targets on the screen, which are invisible to the human eye but not to the penveu device.
The 4-ounce device (6.2×2.1×1.2 inches) is built with a host of components once stitched together to guide smart missiles, Solomon said. His design includes
+ Three gyroscopes
+And a sophisticated optical and visual system to tie everything together.
The portability and low cost of the device are what Interphase vice president and Texas Instruments veteran Yoram Solomon thinks will disrupt the white board market in school systems. Fewer than 10 percent of the country's 31 million classrooms currently have interactive white boards, according to penveu. The larger conference room market potential is hard to accurately gauge.
"We are the occupy movement of the classroom," Solomon said during our stop at his offices earlier this year.
We agreed to hear about the technology if we would honor the company's embargo on the announcement, held this week at the Demo event in Santa Clara, Calif.
Here's Solomon discussing penveu during our visit in February: