Screen vendor Interactive Technologies (ITL) has appointed reseller Interactive Education (IE) to sell its Inspire front projection whiteboards and Eclipse touch-screen overlays.
IE is a full-service ICT provider to the school and college sectors and was founded by ex-teachers and ICT co-ordinators.
Mark Dew, ITL's sales and marketing manager, said IE was chosen because it provided "the coverage and capabilities we were looking for".
"IE already has products using different technology - Hardboard touch-screen - and was being asked by its customers for softboard touch-screen technology, particularly from primary schools. We are leaders in softboard touch-screen technology," Dew claimed.
Traditionally, ITL has aimed its whiteboards at schools and colleges, and targeted touch-screen overlays for plasma screens more at the corporate market. However, ITL has recently reduced the cost of its plasma overlays by about 20 per cent.
"With the general price reductions for plasma screens, this option is now becoming more viable for schools," Dew said.
"For example, a 42in plasma screen with overlay is now available to schools for around £2,700. A typical whiteboard with projector is around £2,500, although this will have a larger screen. An overlay means that teachers no longer have to worry about casting shadows on the board while they use them.
"It is also less susceptible to fade from sunlight and offers a wider viewing angle."
ITL also offers a rear projection solution which provides a self-contained touch-screen for virtually any size requirement.
Colin Messenger, senior consultant at analyst firm Decision Tree Consulting, said: "It is a good move for both ITL and IE to join forces as they will complement each other. The interactive whiteboard market is huge.
"Last year more than 80,000 whiteboards were sold in the UK. Virtually all of them are sold to the education market. The big two players are Smart and Promethean: between them they have the majority share of the market."
Dew confirmed that ITL's main competitor is Smart.
"Our main strength is the range of whiteboards and overlays we can deliver. We make the industry's largest whiteboard at 80in, and we can also provide overlays for every plasma TV on the market," he said.
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