A couple of years ago electronic whiteboards that print were the in thing.
They were expensive, they were cumbersome to move around and they were difficult to operate. I’m guessing that they were as hard to repair as a modern photocopier, but nobody ever found that out because nobody got enough use out of one to need to fix it.
On the right side of the page you’ll find an American outfit called TechnoEsq.Com on our blogroll. They take corporate technology and market it to lawyers. The latest thing they’re reviewing is a product called PaperShow, which brings together a gizmo pen, some interactive paper and any TV or computer screen.
The article on their website explains how useful this could be in the courtroom. When a witness is in the witness box, everyone wants to be able to see what they’re drawing while they’re doing it, not later. A real whiteboard is good for this, but you don’t end up with a permanent record of their sketch. A piece of paper gives you a permanent record, but you only end up with one copy and it’s not easy to work out what each part of it is supposed to be unless it’s been carefully labelled.
I can’t see everyone rushing out to buy this gadget, but it’s something that will become a common feature of courtrooms in the future.