CompetitiveAnalysis-BoazAvital

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Contents

Restatement of Idea

The idea selected for our group project is an application for helping math and science teachers organize and utilize the whiteboard effectively and even automatically before and during lectures. Brainstorm here.

List of Competitors

Analysis

  • Pocket Whiteboard : This application simulates a whiteboard on your phone. It is basically a drawing application on your phone, aimed at people who need to sketch out an idea casually. The app delivers as a way to write things quickly but lacks some fine-grain functionaily like marker sizes, zooming, etc. Our application will have multiple screens on which to draw and plan your board, complete with predrawn placeholders and planning tips. Our target group of (math and science) teachers is more specific.
  • Instaviz: A mind mapping application for brainstorms and diagrams. This program lets you draw on the screen and converts your drawing into clean, organized diagrams. It's targeted at those who need to create diagrams for explanations and illustrations quickly. Whie it works great for creating shapes and diagrams, it lacks in the ability to annotate and make sense of the graph. Our application will help organize ideas better than the user can, like Instaviz, but with a greater degree of flexibility and easier flow.
  • Whiteboard Capture Pro: With this application, you can photograph a whiteboard and modify it so only the text clearly remains. It is for saving good whiteboard sessions for future viewing. This app takes pains to be as user friendly as possible, and to meet all of the user's expectations as to how an application should function as set by Apple's example through their applications. Our application could have similar functionality for saving good whiteboards in order to reuse them in future presentations (as teachers give the same lecture next time they teach the course). We will also try to meet user expectations with the interface so as to not confuse the regular iPhone user.
  • Whiteboarder: Take pictures of your whiteboard, remove noise, deskew the photo, and even print. This program is aimed a bit more at sharing the whiteboards than Whiteboard Capture Pro is. It also lets you crop out and store seperate sections of the whiteboard in an interesting interface. The target is more of a business audience, though academics can use it too. It is still not for training a person to use a whiteboard. However, features of this program would suit it well for reflecting on your whiteboard usage after-the-fact.
  • Qipit White: Qipit takes photos of your whiteboards, cleans them up completely automatically, and saves them in a number of formats. It is the most geared toward sharing your whiteboards and also has the fastest algorithms of the 3 board analyzers mentioned here. A feature it has that will be similar to our application is the chronological sorting of boards in a deck, something that will be useful in preplanning. However, our application will have finer control over what elements are drawn and replaced when. One qualm with qipit is the picture quality, which we will overcome by relying more on drawn recreations than actual photographs.
  • Presenter Pro: This application is a trainer for presentation giving. It also has a section on visuals, which is relevant to our application. Its target user is any presenter, a superset of our target. Its functions are also superset of ours, as it handles presentation structures, words, body language, and more. This means that not only do you have a lot to keep track of with the application, there's no chance of it helping you during an actual presentation. Our applicatoin will be robust and easy to use when planning, and quick and extremely simple when presenting, so the teacher can concentrate on their boardwork and not on the application.
  • QuickPresentation: This app allows you to build presentations on your phone. It allows you to organize images, text and record your voice onto slides for presenting. This type of application could feasibly used, though not easily or intuitively, to plan a whiteboard presentation. Faults to this are that the slides are heavy on animation, and so not quick and snappy when you need them, and that the individual elements will not be interactive and arrangeable during the presentation.
  • Modoki: Another presentation builder, this one is faster and gives you some richer features like page templates. While potentially strong on presentation (though hardly helpful particularly to whiteboard management), Modoki is weak on organizaiton. Slides are spilled into categories with little heirarchy and the fully linear structure make it difficult to mix and match elements. While the program gives you freedom in that you can just place images and text, it doesn't do you any favors in making a comprehensible, usable presentation. This is needed to help teachers use the whiteboard well.
  • Powerpoint: The venerated PowerPoint is an excellent presentation tool. With freedom to create whatever you want, smart art and coloring suggestions, and being on a desktop, it might be a good way to plan out your whiteboards. PowerPoint's weakness is how difficult it is to modify. If you plan your whiteboards ahead of time, you cannot add material ad-hoc. If you actually use powerpoint, you have to stop everything to change slide information instead of writing whatever you need to as you're presenting. Powerpoint targets all presenters,very much including teachers, but for teachers who prefer the traditional black- or whiteboard, it may not be a sufficient tool.
  • Balsamiq Mockups: This is an interesting program for design, planning, and "mockups." Potentially, a teacher could use this to plan fairly intricate boards. However, it suffers the same faults for our target audience as PowerPoint: inflexibility and overpoweredness. Once you have made a plan in Mockups, it's unchangeable while you're presenting. In addition, the program does much, much more than a teacher needs in a planning tool.

Summary

There are many applications that can do small parts of what our application aims to achieve. However, since none of them have the same target - helping teachers utilize the whiteboard space effectively both before and during a lecture, for training or regular use - they can not compete directly with our plans. Some programs can do a wide array of functions that may be useful to our target (and others) in addition to our application, but no one program or applicaiton can replace it, and while perhaps a combination of the programs above can come close to replicating our desired functionality, the amount of time the user would have to put in to achieve such a goal would be inordinate to its use. This exploration and analysis seems to have validated the market for our proposed application.



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