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Sharp BIG PAD interactive display and Pen Software: designed to be easy to use first time

The Sharp BIG PAD range of interactive displays offers an innovative way to work, interact with data, as well as collaborate with others. But what if you haven’t used an interactive display before?

We designed BIG PAD to be easy to use. To make the transition from using a whiteboard to using an interactive display simple, we made the main skill you need, writing, as similar as possible.

This is mainly thanks to Sharp Pen Software, which makes the touch response exceptionally fast and the user-experience smooth. Our intention with both the hardware and software is to get the standard user up to speed, feeling confident and working comfortably quickly and with minimum disruption.

Being confident is especially important for teachers as they have to use technology in front of a critical audience, and maintain the respect of the class throughout. Our aim is for teachers to be able to ignore the underlying technology, and remain confident in its benefits, while getting on with the task of educating.

Sharp Pen Software Menu Design
The Sharp Pen Software has been specifically optimised to work with the BIG PAD touch controller hardware. To achieve this, it has been through a number of software revisions to make it more responsive and easier to use.

The most evident example of this is how the menu icons are arranged. The latest version presents the user with a square box arrangement in a 3×3 array of icons that offer easy access to the pen settings and functions.

Following research on which icons are used the most frequently, we have placed the most commonly used functions on the first screen, with other less frequently used features accessible on later pages.

For those less confident with the software, such as a first-time user or seldom user, having access to the most commonly used features is a great way to familiarise yourself with the tools on offer. It also means the software isn’t taking up too much valuable screen real estate, so reducing the feeling of a crowded screen.

Experienced users can pre-define which icons they want on each page, as the menu system is customisable.

Interacting with the Display
Sharp has made interacting with the BIG PAD easier, not only with great Pen Software technology, but also the pen hardware you can use to write on the screen.

Sharp offers two forms of pen: Passive and Active technology pens. The Passive pen is the basic approach to interacting with the display and works in a similar way to using your finger. It activates the capacitive touch, or infrared beam, of the screen when you touch the display.

An interactive and appealing way to work for many is using the Active pen, which is far more versatile. Using this pen, you can easily launch and display the Sharp Pen Software user interface, while a pressure sensor at the tip of the lightweight pen lets you write with high precision and an uninterrupted flow.

What’s more, the pen allows the user to interact with shortcuts, such as switching the colour of the pen at the click of a button, to quick access to other menu functions. Each pen has its own dedicated menu, which can be displayed even when up to four people are writing on the screen at the same time.

Handwritten notes on the screen can quickly be turned into text and saved using the screen’s handwriting recognition function, allowing you to use onscreen content to make neat and legible copies of your notes.

For even more flexibility, when the BIG PAD is in presentation mode you can use the Sharp Active pen as a presentation aid, clicking forward and backwards through slides with ease.

Networking and Sharp Pen Software
Using Sharp Pen Software you can also create notes on documents and slides that can be saved either to your own network or linked to a cloud-based server, such as Sharp Cloud Portal Office (CPO). One of the key benefits of saving files to CPO is they can be made readily available to others.

For example, if you’re a teacher you can pull up lesson plans or documents you’ve prepared earlier from CPO onto the BIG PAD and the Pen Software will automatically access those files and directories on CPO.

As you make notes in class, the pen software can automatically upload these to CPO whenever you save documents on the BIG PAD. By having the interactive display connected to your network, you can save time in your work routine.

The Sharp BIG PAD has been designed to be intuitive and easy to use. If staff are nervous about switching to the new technology, training is available and can be arranged a part of the installation process.

However, many users find that once they have experienced the pen software and interactive display for the first time, any fears they had about using the technology quickly vanish.

If you would like to know more about Sharp BIG PAD and Pen Software range, please get in touch and we can arrange a demonstration for your classroom or office space.

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