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Definition: whiteboard

(1) An alternative to a blackboard for presentations that uses a white drawing area and ink pens instead of chalk. The glossy surface of the whiteboard allows it to be erased.

(2) An "interactive whiteboard" is the electronic equivalent of the physical whiteboard and may be software in a user's computer or a stand-alone unit. It allows users in remote locations to simultaneously view a running application or view someone's drawings on screen. Whiteboards may or may not provide application sharing, in which two or more people are actually working in the same application at the same time (see application sharing).

A Whiteboard Application
In this example, two people are collaborating by annotating an illustration that one of them pasted into this whiteboard application. They are working in the whiteboard, not the drawing program used to create the illustration.

Stand-Alone Units
Whiteboards such as this earlier LiveBoard from Xerox subsidiary, LiveWorks, Inc. allow simultaneous viewing of the application. The exceptionally large screens can be viewed close up and at wide angles. (Images courtesy of Palo Alto Research Center; Brian Tramontana, photographer.)