Tuesday, May 7, 2013

SMART LightRaise 60wi Interactive Projector Review by Tom Marcais

SMART just came out with a product in April that could revolutionize interactive white board technology. Up until this point, there were really just two kinds of interactive whiteboard technologies. The traditional interactive white board, where you press a finger or pen against an electronic board that registers your movements. And, the newer interactive projectors... that use proprietary pens that allow you to write on any surface (but without the pens, the interactivity doesn't work). Well... SMART came out with a product that combines the best of both worlds... the SMART LightRaise 60wi projector.

Lee Hartman, Inc. very generously loaned us one of these projectors for a week. It was pretty amazing! It will project on any flat surface (wall, white board, etc...). Once it's installed and calibrated, it operates just like a regular SMART board! You can touch the projection with your finger, and it's a big touch-screen! Or, use your finger to select any of the various SMART board tools through the tool bar. If you prefer pens... they have two rechargeable pens you can work with too.

There are a few downsides we ran into. They tell you that you need a flat surface to install this on, and they're not kidding. We thought we had a flat wall, but it really had some high/low points. Our Physical Plant guys came to the rescue and smoothed it out with some wall compound. We were then able to get a good enough reading to make the finger-touch capability work. Also, because it's using lasers to create a raised plane above the surface... you can't have any bezel greater than 5mm. Not a big deal with most white boards, but it probably does mean no map rails over that section of the board. It does take a bit of time to install, too. There's a bit of extensive calibration. SMART recommends allotting 2-hours for two people to install and calibrate one projector. The final thing we noticed is that you couldn't use all of the multi-touch features (like a fist for an eraser).

There are some huge advantages, though! First of all... size. This thing can project wide-screen up to 100 inches diagonally. That's a pretty big picture! Next, it has dual-touch capabilities... so you can have two people working with the projection at the same time. Another advantage is you only have one piece of equipment (one warranty, one point-of-failure) versus one for a SMART Board and another for a projector. If you've got this set up to project on a regular white board, it's also great for faculty that don't want to use SMART technology. They can just use it as a regular projector and/or just write normally on the white board with dry erase markers. Oh... and finally... the best has got to be price. You can get this projector for under $2000.00! Compared to installing an 800-series SMART board and a separate short-throw projector, we figure this will save us about $2000.00 per installation!

We're hoping to use this is some of the classroom renovations we're doing here at Sweet Briar College this summer. If you get a chance to check one of these projectors out in person, I'd really recommend it!


  1. Yes it's nice information for Projector and explain beautifully here. Keep continue!! Thanks...:)

  2. Hi, it's a great product, but the price round $2,700, we are a resseller and we recommend include a new white board with a wooden panel in the back, to force the whiteboard to make it completely flat.

  3. yeah, Its a great projector but it's price range and couples of wires are connected to our pc/laptop.so now purchased a new projector,it's a nice wireless ,light weight projector .

  4. i needed a panasonic projectors last month and i bought it from the internet.

  5. This is very nice blog with cool info on projectors . I'm using projectors

  6. This Blog is full of information. I'm using this amazing Panasonic Projectors for better viewing experience.

  7. I saw this post which i felt I needed to administer my take. I even have flick through the comments and most of the people seem unhappy with overr projectorsiding Paramount smart Well, i assume I’m the only happy person here. I bought a overriding smart-905 a short time ago and I’m happy with it. I developed interest to buy for a predominate projector once being prompt by an acquaintance to form the acquisition. once I visited the stores,I found that the projector was going at $4000 that was absolutely unaffordable on behalf of Pine Tree State. the vendor united to create a deal and sold-out it to American state at $1200. I watch movies with it and thus the images square measure unceasingly super sharp. On occasions, I watch TV exploitation it and it works dead.

  8. We've bought these projectors for a bunch of our classrooms in mid/late 2013. The first few months everyone was happy and our teachers and students were having a blast working with them. The possibilities to freshen up the learning process are seemingly endless.

    Then after about 2-3 months the problems began.

    It started with the interactive SMART Pens failing one after the other. Although everyone was treating the equipment carefully, after a while they couldn't hold a charge for more than 20 minutes or just flat out broke into several pieces. Currently we are burning through several pens each month.

    Then the light intensity of the projectors got worse and worse up to the point where we have to black out a room completely, just to see a glimpse of the projected image. That itself is quite bad, but the image also begins to flicker when the lamp gets to a certain point of deterioration. Smarttech says the lamp should work for about 3500h in standard mode. Well, that's not our experince. The problems with the projectors started at about 500h of running time.

    And the SMART Notebook software has/had quite some bugs. We've tried to report some of them to the support, but we never got a reaction. Some of them got fixed in later releases though, which is fine i guess.

    Most of our problems are currently covered by our warranty, but looking back we probably wouldn't buy this system again and look around for another vendor with similar technology.

    If you decide to introduce the LightRaise system into your school, be sure to keep a conventional whiteboards with markers ready, because chances are, you are going to need it when the Smarttech equipment fails.

  9. Using Smart 60wi projector is writing possible with finger? Without the provided pens can one write, draw, use other features as it is with fingers only? With some projectors of this range other than writing everything is possible with finger. Please help.