Digital Technology for Effective Whiteboard Use

Zhengyou Zhang, Li-wei He,


Microsoft Research



Whiteboard is ubiquitous and will exist for foreseeable future, but its content is hard to archive and share. While digital cameras can be used to capture whiteboard content, the image is usually taken from an angle, contains irrelevant information, and has shadows.

We have developed an intelligent and automatic technique to reproduce the whiteboard content as a crisp and faithful image which can be archived or shared with others. Furthermore, we cover other scenarios such as scanning the whiteboard with a low-resolution PC camera and, by adding a microphone, streaming the meeting to remote participants and archiving it for ulterior efficient browsing.

The technologies we have been developing allow information workers to use whiteboard in a more effective way, yet without increasing their burden of adapting their behavior to new technologies as other commercial systems do.


Depending on different scenarios, we provide four systems:

  1. Whiteboard It!: Use a digital camera as a great tool for note taking. Click here for details.

  2. Whiteboard Scanning: Scan the whiteboard by stitching multiple images together. Click here for details.

  3. Whiteboard Archiving: Record both whiteboard activities and audio meeting, and provide efficient meeting browsing interface. Click here for details.

  4. Whiteboard Streaming (Live Whiteboard): Stream whiteboard contents to remote party for annotation and real-time feedback. The whiteboard contents captured by a video camera have been processed in real time to remove foreground moving objects and to enhance image quality.


Last Updated 11/10/03