Samsung wants you to believe that its new 85-inch interactive display can bridge the gap between students in the classroom and students studying at home as blended learning is the new normal across the country. In reality, it's just a slightly larger digital whiteboard – but if it doesn't cost too much, the optimized vision sounds fascinating.
Now that COVID-19 has taken over the country, some students huddle at home on tiny Chromebook screens while others stay in class, and Samsung's internet-connected digital whiteboard promises students and teachers can work together regardless whether they are drawing in the classroom on the blackboard or adding in real time from their laptop at home. The goal here isn't necessarily to better connect everyone – they've had a few months to get a grip on that via Zoom – but rather to allow the kind of collaboration that can happen when everyone is together while the students are in are separated.
Samsung's 65-inch Flip 2
While the interactive display is mostly just a larger version of Samsung's existing Flip 2 digital whiteboards, the 85-inch size means it's the size of an actual school whiteboard (though it weighs a lot more at 164 pounds). Compared to the previous 55- and 65-inch models, more students could theoretically use the board at the same time. Samsung envisions the display, mostly mounted in a classroom, where the 4K touchscreen and four pen support (two included) can be used for writing and drawing. It supports up to 20 fingers (and pen tips) at the same time. Teachers may also be able to connect multiple computers or other video sources to the display with two HDMI 2.0 ports compared to the Flip 2.
However, before petitioning your school, it is worth mentioning that the device has no advertised price. The 65-inch Flip 2 costs $ 2,599.00, and Samsung's 85-inch TVs start at $ 1,799.99. So maybe the interactive display doesn't cost much more than this? Still, most schools are even more restricted than usual during the pandemic, and that screen doesn't even come with some of the educational software advertised by Samsung. I think it would be great if these were used in schools, but to me, Samsung's framework for the interactive display sounds more opportunistic than realistic.