Review: MiTouch Interactive Monitor
Regular readers of Anseo.net may have noticed that there haven’t been many articles about Interactive Whiteboards (IWBs) for some time. When Anseo.net started writing about IWBs, school were just starting to buy into these devices and at their peak there were almost 40 different companies selling nearly 30 different models of boards. However, with an estimated 90% of classrooms in Ireland now fitted with IWBs, there hasn’t been a new board on the market in ages.
Enter MiTouch, a new type of Interactive Whiteboard that doesn’t need a projector.
MiTouch isn’t a new concept. Essentially, it’s a very large monitor that can be interacted with through touch. While these devices have been around for a couple of years, this is the first time they have reached a price that is affordable in schools.
I had the pleasure of trying out the MiTouch in June and was very impressed by how simple it was to set up and use. It is as easy as plugging your computer into the right sockets, calibrating once and you have a fully-featured IWB that’s almost instantly on. There’s no worries about waiting for projectors to warm up (or cool down.) In fact, there’s no need to worry about projectors at all, which for those of you who are now at the stage of replacing bulbs, will be able to testify is a rather nice selling point.
The MiTouch works best with Windows 7′s multitouch features like most modern boards. I
didn’t try to write on the screen but I can’t see any reason why one couldn’t as it’s made of glass. One of my teachers reported that because it’s essentially a very big screen TV, there might be a concern of eye strain. However, I don’t think there is much difference between this screen and a projected image but I’m open to correction. The newer versions of MiTouch use LED technology rather than LCD, which also might help.
The bigger picture here is that if prices become the same or comparable to current IWBs, will the MiTouch or its derivatives replace them in classrooms? Is this the new model for an IWB - a large touch-based monitor? It’s very early days as yet but with projectors starting to cause all sorts of problems with bulbs needing replacing, the interactive monitor (IM anyone?) could become the new IWB.
Mediascene are selling the MiTouch in Ireland €3,995 including VAT. Thanks to Graham for the lend of the MiTouch.