Presentations in an Instant

By Heather Baldwin

Picture this. You’re at yet another Monday morning sales meeting when your boss, out of the blue, asks you to give an impromptu presentation on handling customer rejections. You wind up putting a lot of information on the whiteboard but, with no computer handy, can’t hook up any of the technologies designed to capture and save that information. As a result, your peers spend more time hastily copying down your key points than they do listening to what you have to say and ultimately walk out without having learned much at all.

It is for scenarios like these that Virtual Ink, creator of the mimio family of collaboration tools, just rolled out mimio Xi, a tool that captures whiteboard information with or without a PC in the room. Like the original mimio, mimio Xi enables presenters to capture, edit and share whiteboard information electronically. But, unlike the original version, the Xi offers three power options – a battery, a USB connection to a PC and a plug for a standard wall outlet. On battery power, presenters simply suction mimio Xi to the upper left-hand corner of a whiteboard, select ‘power on’ and start writing. It takes about three to four seconds to be up and running, says Allison Flaherty, director of marketing for Virtual Ink. There’s enough on-board memory to record up to 10 hours of meeting notes, which presenters can later download to a PC via a USB port. “The overall functionality of mimio is the same,” says Flaherty, “but we untethered it for greater convenience for impromptu meetings.”

The new mimio Xi offers two other advantages over its predecessor: size and future upgradability. Overall, mimio Xi is 60% smaller than the original mimio, measuring 18″ in length when fully extended and protruding just 1″ from the whiteboard. Folded in half, it is 9″ long, or roughly the size of a large TV remote, says Flaherty. mimio Xi also has the capability to accept new modules, letting users expand functionality and connectivity as their needs evolve and the technology becomes available. For instance, if a Virtual Ink partner devised a Bluetooth wireless module, mimio Xi users could simply swap in the wireless module and send whiteboard information to a PC or PDA without the need to hook up any cables.

mimio Xi will begin shipping at the end of March for an MSRP of $799. For more information or to pre-order the product, visit