Ricoh is gearing up to launch its own high-end interactive whiteboards through the UK channel in July.
The products are part of an audiovisual portfolio business expansion announced globally a year ago, which includes videoconferencing, projection and other interactive items that are something of a departure for the printer and camera manufacturer.
Steven Hastings, UK channel director at Ricoh, said the devices target the higher-end corporate and tertiary education markets.
"This is a whole new business area for Ricoh entering the channel in the UK," he said. "And we will be looking for specialised partners to be working with us on this to add more value. I think it will be for tertiary education, and marketed to the corporate world as well."
According to Futuresource Consulting, a million IWBs and interactive flat panels were sold in 2012 globally, representing a 15 per cent rise in sales by volume.
Ricoh's Hastings added that its free-standing ultra-short-throw projectors, such as the PJWX4130 with its throw distance of just 11.7cm, are also coming through the UK channel this year.
These items, shown at the Bett education technology show in January, appear well suited to customers in the museum and gallery space, for example – locations where the overall presentation and design of the space itself counts.
"Our only distributor for audiovisual has been Midwich," he added.
Hastings said the audiovisual channel would also be targeted, as well as specialised IT distributors and resellers. The vendor is less interested in tackling the more saturated lower end of the market, he confirmed.
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