mimio: A Promising Note-taking Alternative

Yoland Chery, then a teaching assistant at MIT, became concerned when his students were more focused on copying whiteboard notes than on the concepts behind them. He observed that vital knowledge and key concepts were getting lost in students’ attempts to write down every note from the whiteboard. This concern became the basis for his founding in 1997 of Virtual Ink with four other engineering and computer science students from MIT. The team developed mimio - a portable device that attaches to any whiteboard, connects to a computer and electronically captures everything that is written or drawn.

How Does mimio Work?

mimio uses a high-resolution ultrasonic position capture system consisting of a capture bar, color-coded marker sleeves, and an electronic eraser. The electronic marker sleeves transmit an ultrasonic signal to the capture bar. Each move of a marker or stylus on the whiteboard or flip chart surface is captured as digital data. The only change users must make is to use the electronic eraser to make corrections, since mimio can not capture changes made with a standard eraser or with one’s fingers. The software that comes with the mimio package allows the student to rewind, fast-forward and play-back everything that has been written on the whiteboard or flip chart, in sequence. The student can save a whiteboard, clear it from the screen to start over and still recall any previous board or sequence of the whiteboard session. With this function, the student can capture the information as it is written and the progress of ideas as they are generated.

Product Details

mimio is available for PCs and Macintosh computers. The mimio xi model is a portable, stand-alone system that does not require a PC. It is Windows-only compatible. The systems range in price from $425 - $800. Exact pricing, system requirement, and additional details about special features of the mimio system can be found at www.mimio.com

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