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Cisco rolls out Spark Board, all-in-one cloud-connected digital whiteboard

January 24, 2017 | Telepresence Options

SparkBoard.jpg

Story and images by ZDNet

The Spark Board, competing with the Microsoft Surface Hub and Google's Jamboard, is the first video-capable device that Cisco has shipped that's only connected to the cloud.

Corporate conference rooms are filled with collaboration tools that often fall just short of people's needs and expectations. The speaker phone is often hard to hear, and the projector has to be wheeled in from another room. The whiteboard is a simple tool, but there's no way to transfer information off of the board, aside from snapping a picture of it.

Cisco is trying to solve this problem with the Spark Board, an "all-in-one" digital whiteboard that serves as a projector, whiteboard, and audio-video conferencing tool. The new device is 100 percent cloud-connected, built on an updated Cisco Spark platform. It's the first video-capable device that Cisco has shipped that's only connected to the cloud.

"The challenge with this type of product is it's got to be easy to use -- stuff has to just happen, it's got to be automatic -- for anyone to really use it," Cisco Collaboration CTO Jonathan Rosenberg told ZDNet. While the Spark Board has several functions, ease of use and "magical simplicity" were the primary objectives guiding its design, Rosenberg said.

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