The Internet of Things (IoT) is not a new idea – connecting our devices, objects, and even ourselves to the internet has increasingly seeped into our everyday lives and work. Think of the Apple Watch on your wrist you use to track your activity and heartrate, or the Amazon Echo you use to control your home thermostat.

In the office and the classroom, one of the leading adoptions of IoT technologies are video-conferencing set ups, including large-screen displays and interactive whiteboards. What do IoT platforms have to do with interactive displays, you ask? Well, it could be the difference between having a secure collaboration environment or not.

The theme for this year’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month is ‘Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart’ – helping to empower individuals and organizations to own their role in protecting their part of cyberspace. What better way to take ownership than to ensure your conference or classrooms displays or interactive whiteboards are secure!

Upgrading Your Classrooms and Office Spaces with Interactive Whiteboards

Over the next few years, the interactive whiteboard market is expected to grow 7% annually and most likely they will become synonymous with the idea of digital group work. Their versatility makes them an ideal tool to share ideas, collaborate, and present effectively. An interactive whiteboard offers many utilities such as opening up files, creating whiteboards, delivering presentations, and video calling from one single device. Much of these activities are done over the internet making them an ideal IoT device that is intuitive for most people.

If you are reading this article there’s a high chance you too have one in your classroom or meeting room, or are thinking about adding one into your organization. However, not all interactive whiteboards are created equal, even if they all look and function similarly.

IoT Platforms: A Key Differentiator between Interactive Whiteboard Brands

Ever wonder what makes one brand of interactive whiteboards better than another? The quality of the hardware is, of course, a differentiating factor, but even more important is its internal workings. All the applications running and sharing information on what you are doing on the whiteboard or presentation requires secure software and protocols. If your interactive whiteboard is connected to the internet there is a real danger of user data leaking or being hacked. The strength of the IoT platform at the foundation of your interactive whiteboard makes a big difference.

To build devices that are secure, many interactive whiteboards are built on a leading IoT platform. Amazon, Microsoft, Intel, and Google are among the top players in this market. These platforms are multi-layer technologies that enable provisioning, management, and automation of connected devices within an IoT system. They are the middleware connecting devices to user applications and other devices. IoT platforms are also the controller of all the interactions between the hardware and the application layers.

So, what does this mean for the security of your interactive whiteboards? It means much of the strength of your whiteboard’s security comes from the IoT platform it was built on.

4 Factors That Make IoT Platforms Important to Interactive Whiteboards

Mobile Engagement

IoT platforms are used to link different devices using the internet. Many people use this feature to connect a mobile device to an interactive whiteboard to control the display or share what is happening on the display to other participant’s mobile devices. The IoT platform gives mobile device users an easy way to have secure, large-scale wireless group presentations, video conferencing, file sharing, and screen sharing with high-definition audio and video. It creates a hub for a multitude of devices to connect to and interact.

Infrastructure Management

Typically a business or educational institution sets up their IoT devices as an interconnected system to take advantage of being able to manage all connected devices on a single network. IoT platforms allow IT administrators the ability to manage all interactive whiteboards remotely including monitoring, configurations, and software setting. This saves IT administrators both time and effort from manually checking each interactive whiteboard separately. It also reduces work interruptions when IT administrators are working behind the scenes.

Security Layers

Essentially an interactive whiteboard is a giant touch screen capable of doing most things a tablet or computer can. This includes opening websites, transferring files, making internet calls – all of which are very privacy-heavy activities. For example, you don’t want your brainstorming sessions being spied on by a competitor. IoT platforms help software applications secure their connection to the internet by adding an encryption layer, identity protection, and scans for unauthorized usage. It builds a multifaceted barrier to capture, encrypt, match, and store user data while limiting the exposure to threats.

Connecting Applications

Need to use Zoom or Skype? Many 3rd party applications need plugins to run on your devices. This requires a public API to work with your hardware and software. Larger IoT platforms would already support major 3rd party applications and have a database of plugins ready. Others would give device developers the added ability to customize and create their apps on the platform. This opens the IoT platform to an even wider range of applications while maintaining the same level of security already provided to each new device added to the ecosystem.

The Making of a Great IoT Platform

Intel’s IoT Platform is an end-to-end reference architecture model and family of products from Intel. They also work with third-party solutions providers such as ViewSonic to offer a foundation to seamlessly and securely connect devices, deliver trusted data to the cloud, and add value through analytics.

The Intel IoT platform helps break down barriers between IoT adoption, plus adds a new source of data, insights, cost savings and scalability. Their platform provides a range of industries with IoT solutions for manufacturing, buildings, transportation fleets, and more.

While other companies may struggle with integration, interoperability, and management concerns, by selecting the right IoT solution partner one can lower barriers and increase the success rate of IoT adoption.

Stronger Together IoT Alliances

To help 3rd parties accelerate IoT device development, deployment of intelligent devices, and analytics, Intel created its IoT Solutions Alliance. Representing over 500 IoT leaders and 6000 plus IoT solutions, the Intel Solution Alliance creates an IoT ecosystem that connects solution providers, system integrators, and design experts to vital resources. Members get all the resources they need to build devices that will be secure and easily connected to a wider IoT infrastructure. ViewSonic is a proud member of the Intel Solution Alliance putting our products alongside others in the Intel IoT ecosystem.

If you are looking to deliver IoT solutions faster, Intel’s IoT Market Ready Solutions (IMRS) is a preset, vetted, and ready-for-deployment IoT solution. From smart cities, educational institutes, to hospitals, by utilizing IMRS, organizations can quickly get their IoT systems designed and launched. Part of Intel’s IoT Market Ready Solutions is ViewSonic ViewBoard interactive whiteboards. Add ViewBoards with ease to

Securing Your IoT Interactive Whiteboards

Specifically, for devices that need to create, edit, and share content, Intel offers the Intel Unite Solution for content sharing and collaboration. This solution improves content sharing and collaboration over a secure platform. It enables devices like a selection of ViewSonic ViewBoards to connect itself to other devices and operating systems. Intel Unite improves security by helping safeguard data, content file sharing, and encryption. It also improves collaborations by allowing the interactive whiteboard to share content wirelessly and interact seamlessly with touch interfaces within an internal network.

The Right IoT Solutions for You

ViewSonic chose to partner with Intel as their IoT partner because their IoT platform offers ViewSonic products the security and dependability expected by their users.

“Building our products on top of the Intel platform gives us the assurance that the companies and schools connecting their whiteboards to the internet will do so securely. Even if the user may not know everything going on in the background, they can be assured that our solutions are proactively working for them.”

When choosing an IoT solution platform to create your own IoT strategy or selecting an IoT device provider such as ViewSonic interactive whiteboards consider security before you make a choice.

Ask yourself:

  • Can the platform withstand attacks?
  • Can the platform allow devices to communicate with each other?
  • Can we gather and utilize data collected?
  • Can we build a network and take advantage of scale?
  • Can we continue to build and redefine what is IoT together?

ViewSonic ViewBoards are used every day in office and classrooms around the globe. We take pride in knowing that ViewSonic and their partners are dedicated to offering the best secure interactive whiteboarding experience possible!

(From the editor: This article was originally published on ViewSonic Library.)