All You Need To Know About The Whiteboard Owl: Our Full Review

The Meeting Owl Pro has been the go to product for many meeting rooms. A unique way to really see everybody in the meeting – up close and personal. The Meeting Owl Pro boasts 360-degree views of your meeting room, putting everyone on your screen. Up close. Allowing you to see everybody at once. Without having to wait for the camera to track and move to who is speaking. By the time it processes who is speaking, its too late. The Meeting Owl Pro covered that.

However now that working from home is the new normal, being able to create and present to your colleagues, or your students, has been a bit of a challenge. Even though a lot of interactive displays have integrated digital whiteboards. Being able to create in real time, on a real whiteboard big enough for you, your colleagues and your classmates. Is a must for a lot of people. That’s where Owl Labs stood up and created the Whiteboard Owl. The Meeting Owl’s friend that captures your whiteboard content. 

But with the Whiteboard Owl seeming like just another meeting room camera, how does the Whiteboard Owl differ from other meeting room cameras?

What Is The Whiteboard Owl?

The Whiteboard Owl is a camera for you to capture your whiteboard content, shooting it across to your remote participants in HD quality. All of this while working with the Meeting Owl Pro. Just pair the two devices together and your meeting will have 360-degree views of the people within the meeting room or classroom. The Whiteboard Owl is fully flexible to your needs. It can be mounted on the ceiling, the wall or can be mounted on a tripod. If you chose to mount the Owl on your wall or on a tripod, it is recommended that you place it 7 – 16 feet away from your whiteboard and 6 feet off the ground. Allowing the Owl to capture a large area of your whiteboard and capture the content clearly. 

The Whiteboard Owl includes:

  • Whiteboard Tags
  • Power Supply
  • Mount
  • Adhesive Strips 
  • Cable Management Pieces
  • Drywall Hangers 
  • Screws

A tripod for the Whiteboard Owl will have to be bought separately. But not to worry though – you wont need to think too much about buying the right tripod. The Owl comes with a tripod screw thread on the bottom of the device. Making it easy for you to set up the Owl and chose the right tripod. Just make sure that you use a tripod screw that isn’t longer than 8mm – otherwise you will damage the Whiteboard Owl. If you are going to be moving the Owl from room to room. Then getting a tripod is recommended. Instead of you having to take the Owl off the wall when you want it in a different room. When you are moving your Whiteboard Owl around, just remember to take your whiteboard tags with you. 

Content

When creating content with the Whiteboard Owl you will never have to worry about your participants not being able to see what you have created, as the Owl comes with features to enhance your content. When you’re ready to start creating on your whiteboard, you simply flip over one of the whiteboard tags. This will then switch the remote participants view from the Meeting Owl to the Whiteboard Owl. Then you can start drawing on the whiteboard.

Another way the Whiteboard Owl focuses on your content is that you will almost become invisible to your remote participants when drawing on your whiteboard. So when you’re drawing the Whiteboard Owl will pick out the content that it can see and enhance it, while turning you transparent. Then when your done drawing and move out of frame, the Owl will line up the rest of your drawing and enhance it further. Making the Whiteboard Owl experience even easier. Just a little tip though. Owl Labs recommend using black, blue, red or green markers when using the Whiteboard Owl. Just so your drawing can be picked up by the Owl clearly.

The whiteboard capture feature stops you from having to take notes during the Whiteboard Owl session. You missing out on important parts of your meeting as you had to look at your notepad. The Whiteboard Owl will take photos of your whiteboard and store them for you to look at after your session is over. 

Whiteboard Tags

The whiteboard tags are a crucial part of the Whiteboard Owl – without them nothing on your whiteboard will be seen. So before you even set up the Whiteboard Owl, place the whiteboard tags on your whiteboard. One in the top left hand corner and one in the bottom right hand corner. This is just so you don’t get ahead of yourself and start using the Whiteboard Owl without putting the tags on. Taking your time creating on the whiteboard and your participants via Zoom not seeing a thing.

The tags look somewhat like QR codes.  They have to go, like we said in the top left hand and bottom right hand corner, but you can create your own smaller frame. This is if you don’t want your whole whiteboard being captured. The tags act as a frame for your content and what the Whiteboard Owl should focus on. Make sure that they are facing upright for them to work right.

The tags are also magnetic, so they are super easy to set up. However if your whiteboard isn’t a magnetic whiteboard, then you will need to use magnetic adhesive strips to attach the tags to your whiteboard.

whiteboard owl tags

Going back to the idea of moving the Owl from room to room, obviously the tags need to be moved to the new room as well. When setting up the Owl in the new room, the Whiteboard Owl and the tags need to re crop. Meaning that the Owl will have to figure out the frame you want of the new whiteboard. This process is just so that the Owl can get the best picture of the whiteboard. However, this won’t halt your presentation. The re-cropping process only takes up to one minute in most situations. 

Whiteboard Enhance

The whiteboard enhance feature is a great tool for making your whiteboard even clearer. It does what it says. It will enhance your whiteboard content so your remote participants can see it in a sharper view. Pick out your drawing and making it more noticeable against the whiteboard. To enable this feature you will have to go into Cameras Controls, Whiteboard Owl Controls and click the Whiteboard Enhance toggle to turn it on. And as simple as that, your remote students or colleagues can see your content more clearly. 

Once the whiteboard enhance feature has been switched on. You can easily turn this feature on and off by flipping one of the whiteboard tags. Making your meeting or lesson professional and seamless with just a flip of a tag. If you are turning the whiteboard enhance feature on and off by flipping the tags, then you will need to flip both of the tags over and leave a clear view of the whiteboard so the feature can be turned on. 

Whiteboard Capture

The whiteboard capture takes photos of your whiteboard content and puts them into a safe space for you – where you can access them after your meeting. The images will be stored for up to 2 hours after the meeting in a URL that is placed in the bottom right hand corner. When entering the URL, you will have to enter a passphrase. Your passphrase can be found in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. When inputting this passphrase there will be a space between each of the three words. Being able to view photos of the content created in the meeting can help massively. With not only conjuring up new ideas but rejogging your memory if anything information is forgotten. Because if your memory’s not the greatest, you can simply go into the URL and view your meeting all over again.

Now some of you may be thinking that you will have to have some sort of remote control to take the pictures. Or worse have to run back and forth from the Owl to the whiteboard every time our want to snap a picture. But the Owl is all about seamless meetings. No remotes or buttons are needed. As the Whiteboard Owl will take high resolution pictures of new content created every 30 seconds. Meaning that you can stay by your whiteboard, hosting your meeting or your lesson without having to run around.  

 

Setting Up Your Whiteboard Owl

Once the Owl is mounted on your wall or tripod. You will then have to get your Owl up and running. Its super simple, you just have to download the Meeting Owl app. You will need the app to be able to use your Whiteboard Owl. When you first enter the app you will have to select your Whiteboard Owl from the list of nearby devices. It will be called “Whiteboard Owl” followed by the 8 digit software serial number. To make it simpler, you can change the Owls name later on in the set up. This little feature helps if you have multiple Whiteboard Owls as you can give them all different names. Making it easy to pick the right Owl when needing to buy a new license.

After you have selected your Whiteboard Owl, you will need to select your location and register your Owl. In registering all you need to put in is your full name, company name and your email address. After this you will just need to connect the Owl to your WIFI. And just like that you Whiteboard Owl is set up and ready to go.

License

If you are an Owl Labs lover and already have the Meeting Owl Pro, you can pair your Whiteboard Owl and your Meeting Owl together. When connecting the Whiteboard Owl to your internet is complete, the Meeting Owl app will give you the option to connect your Whiteboard Owl to a Meeting Owl. The app will automatically search for any nearby Owls to pair with. Once your Meeting Owl pops up on the list, select pair and the devices will connect. In the last step you are required to purchase a license for your Whiteboard Owl. Without this license your Owl will not be useable. Purchasing a license is easy. You just simple go into the billing section in the Owl Labs dashboard and add a license to your cart. 

whiteboard-owl

Where You Can Use The Whiteboard Owl?

Whether your looking for a whiteboard camera for your meeting room or for online lessons. The Whiteboard Owl can pretty much fit anywhere. Pairing with the Meeting Owl to bring great views and and clear images of your participants and your whiteboard to your meetings or lessons.

Classroom

With people still learning from home, the Whiteboard Owl can deliver crystal clear whiteboard content without the students missing anything. Letting the teacher teach smoothly without having to pause for remote learners to jot down the content off the whiteboard. The students can see the whiteboard in real times without any lagging or light interfaces. No lagging as the teacher can stand in front of the whiteboard and become invisible as the Whiteboard Owl will remove the teacher so you can see what they are creating.

The whiteboard capture feature can improve your meetings and your lessons. Using the Owl in a classroom – the whiteboard capture feature can boost students productivity as they can keep their focus on the lesson. Using the Owl for a meeting – having the whiteboard feature available allows participants to view the content draw in the meeting again. Having a chance for them to come up with any new ideas or just view the content once again. Furthermore, if a person was supposed to be in the meeting and they got caught up with something else. Them missing the meeting but not actually missing the meeting as they can easily view what was drawn up in the meeting.

Meeting Rooms

Online learning isn’t the only thing that the Whiteboard Owl can do, the Owl is also great for meetings with any remote participants. Which are most meetings nowadays. If you prefer to use a real whiteboard to draw out plans and any ideas, the Meeting Owl will be your best friend. Letting remote colleagues or business partners view your drawing clearly. Making for better huddle and small meetings and any brainstorming sessions that may come about. Without realising it, the Whiteboard Owl can make remote participants feel more included in the meeting. So if the call keeps cutting out for your remote participants. It can leave them feeling out of the loop – making them unmotivated for the meeting at hand. 

If the the Whiteboard Owl is something that has caught your eye, you will have to wait a little while. The Whiteboard Owl is expected to be available from April 2022, with a price of around £700. The Whiteboard Owl, we believe, would be a great addition to your meeting room or classroom as many people are still learning and working from home. 

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