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One millionth SMART Board™ rolls off production line

SMART hits milestone with world-leading Canadian product

OTTAWA, Ontario --- August 12, 2008 --- SMART Technologies announces that the one millionth SMART Board interactive whiteboard will roll off the company’s Ottawa production line today, at approximately 1:00 p.m. SMART is the first interactive whiteboard manufacturer to reach this significant milestone. Over the past 17 years, SMART has sold approximately three times as many interactive whiteboards as its closest competitor. According to firsthalf data for 2008 for the interactive whiteboard product category, SMART has a 53.3 percent global category share, up from 45.5 percent in the first half of 2007. The information comes from Futuresource, an industry-leading global research company that has tracked interactive whiteboard sales for the past eight years. SMART products are assembled in a state-of-the-art 24,155 square meter (260,000 square foot) facility in Ottawa, Ontario.

For more than 15 years, SMART has continued to develop and refine its SMART Board interactive whiteboard by improving hardware design and upgrading software. The company has steadily expanded its Ottawa-area operations to meet increasing global demand for its wide range of popular education, training and collaboration products. In October 2007, the company opened a new, purpose-built facility to provide the flexibility required for accelerated market expansion. With greater production capacity, SMART predicts it will produce its two millionth SMART Board interactive whiteboard within the next couple of years. SMART acknowledges the strong contributions of its staff and suppliers in reaching this notable milestone, particularly as other assembly operations have moved offshore in large numbers in recent years.

“I’m really not surprised to see that SMART has produced a million SMART Board interactive whiteboards,” says Dr. Donald McDonell, former director of the Center for Distance Education at the University of Ottawa. McDonell was the instigator of a project that contributed to the development of the first SMART Board interactive whiteboard, making him SMART’s first Canadian purchaser of the product in 1991. “I was very enthusiastic about the product and could see its use right away. We needed some way of displaying the computer screen to the students in the classroom and to those who were participating at a distance. Professors who were concerned about teaching well saw that they now had the ability to display what was on the computer and manipulate the information effectively, making it easier for all students to grasp the concepts.”

“Since we first conceptualized the interactive whiteboard, we saw the potential for the product in numerous teaching, learning and collaboration environments,” says David Martin, SMART’s cofounder and executive chairman. “It’s rewarding to know that a growing number of customers have come to appreciate the product’s benefits, and we are very proud to have reached this milestone as a Canadian based company with global reach.”

“Adoption of the SMART Board interactive whiteboard reflects our strong commitment to understanding customers’ needs,” says Nancy Knowlton, SMART’s co-founder and CEO. “We want to thank our customers for supporting our vision by buying our products and the team of people, both inside and outside the company, who directly support our customers and provide products and services to SMART.”

A brief history of the SMART Board interactive whiteboard
Twenty-two years ago, SMART’s executive chairman and cofounder, David Martin, conceptualized the SMART Board interactive whiteboard, and in 1991 the first generation of SMART Board interactive whiteboards was introduced. The award-winning line of SMART Board interactive whiteboards is the most widely installed in the world because of its unsurpassed product quality, versatility and ease of use. Currently in its sixth generation, the SMART Board interactive whiteboard line has expanded to include models integrated with projectors and other tools. SMART’s product development now also focuses on a variety of supporting hardware, software and content. Today, SMART is recognized worldwide as an innovator of award-winning hardware and software for customers who meet, teach, train and present.

A brief history of the interactive whiteboard product category
SMART sold the world’s first interactive whiteboard to the University of Nevada 17 years ago. The university saw the product as an ideal tool for its distance education program, and for the same reason, the University of Ottawa was also an early customer for SMART. Similar to the emergence of most new technologies, it has taken many years for the interactive whiteboard product category to reach a tipping point. Today, interactive whiteboards and interactive displays have become standard in K–12 classrooms, higher education environments and meeting rooms around the world. Futuresource, an industry-leading global research company, forecasts continued strong growth for the interactive whiteboard product category, with a 200 percent sales increase over the next five years. For education, that means one in six classrooms globally will have an interactive whiteboard by 2011.

 

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Last modified: March 03, 2011 14:26 -0000 avsglos Gloucester UK.