Digital and collaborative whiteboards have become essential for working teams. They facilitate the digitalization of meeting content, which is necessary when teams work remotely. As whiteboards become more capable, new and sometimes confusing terminology emerges to explain their various capabilities. Let’s examine the differences between a whiteboard, digital whiteboard, collaborative whiteboard and hybrid whiteboard.
Digital, Collaboration and Hybrid Whiteboards
The way that teams work and collaborate has evolved. Traditionally, teams worked in the office. However, many team members today can work from either the office or their own homes. What has not changed is the need for a whiteboard to run brainstorming, project tracking, workshop sessions and more. Dry-erase boards have always provided a physical area in the office where local teams can write and draw. But they are now being replaced by much more capable digital whiteboards.
Digital whiteboards are designed for digital displays such as tablets, laptops and meeting-room displays. Earlier digital whiteboards allowed content to be transferred from the physical board into a digital whiteboard. More powerful digital whiteboards now have built-in templates and workflows. This significant advancement allows teams to work digitally from anywhere, but it still constrains them to working individually. To support team synergy, collaborative whiteboards must be introduced.
Collaborative whiteboards are digital whiteboards that also support real-time collaboration. A host can invite the team to join the session. Individuals contribute as though they were in the same room, using real-time annotation and drawings. And when the meeting is over, the online whiteboard is shareable. Collaborative whiteboards are excellent for distributed teams working from their laptops but may not provide the optimum solution for hybrid teams.
Hybrid whiteboards such as the FlatFrog Board are digital collaboration boards with the advantage of being optimized for hybrid teams. Hybrid work means that some employees are in the office and some are remote. To maintain team productivity, hybrid whiteboards provide two added capabilities.
1. Whiteboard experience on any device – The hybrid online whiteboard must work as well on an 86-inch display in the meeting room as it does on a 15-inch tablet at home. This is not always the case with digital and collaborative whiteboards, which may only be optimized for laptops. In the meeting room, you need a physical experience when writing on the interactive display. Writing with a digital pen, erasing with the palm, and moving objects must be intuitive and seamless. InGlass™ interactive technology is an excellent meeting-room display option. And on the laptop, the experience must be just as intuitive using the mouse and a keyboard.
2. Access - When teams are working both from the office or remotely, all members need access to their team's work. This requires Cloud file management.
Device access - Access must be available for many devices, including tablets, laptops, small huddle rooms and large meeting rooms.
Any location, anytime access – Some meetings are planned, and some are conducted ad-hoc. Stakeholders need file access whether they are in the main office, remote office, at home or in a coffeeshop. And they may need file access before or after the meeting.
File management – Some meetings may require a specific group to participate, while others require a different team. Online whiteboards with file management guarantee the right team has access to the proper content. In addition to managing the meeting content, they can secure sensitive information through access control.
Digital whiteboards have evolved quickly, with a range of collaboration features providing better teamwork. Hybrid whiteboards extend these capabilities to the hybrid workflow, providing laptop and meeting-room coverage as well as anywhere, anytime file access.
FlatFrog is a provider of free online whiteboards (app.flatfrog.com).
FlatFrog has also designed patented InGlass™ touch display technology from the ground up, providing the best pen and touch input to mimic the intuitive feeling of a dry-erase board. InGlass™ touch displays are available through our partners, including Dell, Google, Samsung, SMART, Sharp, Ricoh, Avocor, CTOUCH and more (www.flatfrog.com/partners).