The business community is currently trying to figure out how to deal with the coronavirus crisis, with many offices wanting to work remotely as security measures at least in the coming weeks. Predictably, this has put software for remote meetings back in the spotlight, especially augmented reality solutions.
And although we have covered many of the best AR solutions for remote meetings, the room is constantly evolving and presenting new options, the newest being the Whiteboard for the Magic Leap 1.
Whiteboard was released earlier this month in the Magic Leap World app store and was developed by Nomtek, the same company behind the incredibly polished private Magic Leap app for HyperloopTT, the transport system inspired by Elon Musk.
Unlike external AR meeting apps such as Spatial or Avatar Chat, Whiteboard is not focused on deep multimedia interactions, instead the app is a dead-easy way to replicate the traditional whiteboard experience in AR.
After the launch, the app presents the user with a life-size virtual whiteboard (complete with metal frame and legs) along with a series of colored markers and an eraser. But a whiteboard is only really useful if you can show off your work, so the option to give extra Magic Leap-using viewers visual access via the "Cast" function of Lumin OS is useful.
Regarding the operation of the app, the interaction is refreshingly simple, making it user-friendly control device as a marker, with the option of switching from different marker colors to eraser by simply dipping the control device into the desired virtual option, similar to a painter's palette.
Nomtek's technical documentation mentions the possibility of running multiple whiteboards on but that feature seems to be unavailable (we have asked the developers for more information) about this feature, but additional details have been received.)
A particularly useful feature in the app is the ability to have multiple whiteboards for simultaneous use. I was able to create four huge whiteboards in my space, each with its own writing style and permanently stored color selections of markers, allowing me to walk between whiteboards and seamlessly make notes about each one separately. This is where the "Follow" function of the Lumin OS becomes quite powerful, because it allows you to force one whiteboard to follow while you walk to another whiteboard.
The only major limitation that I can distinguish so far in Whiteboard, is the inability to allow external users to participate and add their own colored marker notations to your whiteboard. The other problem is the inability to save your whiteboard work. Until that feature is added, a temporary solution is easy to record your session using the built-in recording feature on the Magic Leap 1. With this method, you can easily record videos of your whiteboard work and share them via YouTube and Twitter (or private).
Of course the main obstacle here is that everyone in the Remote Viewer session for a Whiteboard session needs a Magic Leap 1. Alternatively, with an app such as Spatial, participants in external meetings can view and communicate in external AR meetings of a desktop PC without the need for a HoloLens or Magic Leap device.
Keep in mind, however, that whiteboard, unlike richer features, is absolutely free, so if you already have the Magic Leap 1, you suddenly have a powerful external meeting tool at your fingertips, at no extra cost.