White Boards

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White Boards-History and Innovation

Whiteboards were first commercially manufactured in 1966 and gained popularity in the mid-1990s. Currently, melamine is the most common whiteboard material.

HISTORY OF WHITEBOARDS AND ASSOCIATED MARKERS

  • Whiteboards were first commercially manufactured in 1966.
  • Initial whiteboards went relatively unnoticed since they had to be cleaned with a damp cloth and were easily stained by markers.
  • The markers used on whiteboards back in the 1960s used to leave a shadow of what was written earlier despite being cleaned afterward.
  • With the invention of the dry erase markers in 1975, whiteboards started gaining momentum.
  • Whiteboard gained popularity in the mid-1990s with applications in school classrooms, offices, and industrial sites.
  • Currently, whiteboards have completely replaced the classic chalkboards in classrooms, offices, hospitals, conference rooms, sports facilities, and factory floors.
  • The first whiteboard pen was invented by Jerry Woolf in 1975.
  • Initial whiteboard pens were bulky and were available in black, red, blue, and green colors. Later variants were thinner, had a less unpleasant odor, and came in many colors.

MATERIALS

  • Whiteboards can be made of a wide range of materials, though the most common ones are melamine, painted steel, enameled steel, aluminum, and porcelain.
  • Enameled steel or porcelain was the original whiteboard material back in the 1960s and continues to be popular till date. Enameled steel board are designed for heavy-duty use and can usually be found in universities, schools, and training centers.
  • Currently, melamine is the most common whiteboard material.
  • Laminated chipboard is another type of inexpensive whiteboards that come with a laminated surface and get easily stained. They have a short lifespan and are not intended for heavy-duty use. Hence, they are not widely used in schools, hospitals, or offices.
  • Painted aluminum and steel boards have smoother surfaces and are convenient to clean as compared to melamine boards.
  • Prior to the whiteboard pens or dry erase markers, wet-erase markers were used on whiteboards.
  • After the use of wet-erase markers, the whiteboard had to be cleaned using a wet cloth.
  • The ink used in dry erase markers is made of color pigments, a chemical solvent, and a polymer.
  • Dry erase markers use an oily silicone polymer.

WHITEBOARD MARKET SIZE AND APPLICATION

  • The global whiteboard market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.1% and reach $3,026.8 million by 2023.
  • The largest demand for whiteboards currently come from schools, and the office segment is expected to have the fastest growth in the following years.
  • In 2016, porcelain held the largest share in the whiteboard market in terms of materials.

INNOVATION

RESEARCH STRATEGY

Even after exhaustive research, we could not find detailed information on how whiteboards and whiteboard markers have changed over time and information on whether specific markers work best on certain whiteboard surfaces. We started our research by looking into industry publications and knowledge databases. Through this strategy, we were able to find useful information around the history of whiteboards and markers, the materials used for both of them, and how their popularity has grown since their introduction. However, these sources did not provide detailed information on how the whiteboards and whiteboard markers changed over time and information on whether specific markers work best on certain whiteboard surfaces.

To find the missing information, we looked into market reports and studies on whiteboards and whiteboard markers. The idea was to find any changes in whiteboards and markers as a result of any past or ongoing market trends. We came across a report that provided us with information on the current market trends in the whiteboard industry in terms of the end-use segment, materials used, and market sizes. However, the report did not provide any information on how the whiteboards and whiteboard markers changed over time and information on whether specific markers work best on certain whiteboard surfaces.

Finally, we looked into media articles and publications that would provide us with the missing information. We went beyond the regular time frame of two years because of the type of information requested. The idea was to find any article describing the changes in whiteboards and markers over the years and any notable innovations. We came across an article that provided information on how the education system evolved from the use of clay tablets to the whiteboard and now digital whiteboards. However, the article did not mention any other innovations or changes happening specific to the whiteboards apart from the same evolving into a digital whiteboard.
After exhaustive research on public domain about whiteboard and whiteboard markers, we concluded that limited information is available on any specific changes, innovations, and material-specific information⁠—specifically which type of markers work best on which whiteboard surfaces⁠—on whiteboards and markers. One of the probable reasons for the unavailability of such information could be that there have not been any significant changes or innovations in whiteboards and whiteboard markers since their introduction.

Sources
Sources

Quotes
  • "Whiteboards, also known as dry erase boards and dry marker boards, are among the most common pieces of office and classroom equipment"
  • "Whiteboards can be made of a wide range of materials, though the most common ones are melamine, painted steel, enameled steel, aluminum, and porcelain."
  • "The whiteboard was invented by Albert Stallion back in the early 1960s while he was working for Alliance. "
  • "The first commercially available models came out soon after, though they went relatively unnoticed. They needed to be cleaned with a damp cloth and were easily stained by markers. "
  • "However, with the invention of the dry erase marker in 1975, whiteboards started gaining momentum."
  • "Whiteboards have almost completely replaced the classic chalkboards at offices, classrooms, hospitals, sports facilities, conference rooms, and factory floors. "
Quotes
  • "Although whiteboards came into common use after 1990, they were actually first commercially manufactured in 1966."
Quotes
  • "The first whiteboards still needed to be wiped off with a damp cloth just like the old chalkboards of the day. "
  • "Also, the markers they used on them back in the 1960’s tended to leave a shadow of what was written no matter how well you cleaned afterwards. This was fixed in 1975 with the introduction of the dry erase marker."
  • "The first whiteboards were actually made of enameled steel. They would last several lifetimes but were much less practical due to their production cost and weight."
  • "There are the cheap whiteboards that have a glossy layer of laminate, although these will tend to stain over time and have a limited life."
  • "Plus, nowadays we also have tempered glass whiteboards, which are like the Rolls Royce of whiteboards."
  • "Since the turn of the millennium, electronic whiteboards have started to come into play. These are admittedly designed for a niche market, generally companies that have a substantial IT budget and do group meetings regularly. "
Quotes
  • "The global traditional whiteboard market is expected to witness a CAGR of 3.1%, and is projected to reach USD 3,026.8 Million by 2023. "
  • "Traditional whiteboard gained its popularity and its demand rapidly expanded in mid-1990s as an application in school classrooms, offices, and industrial sites. The largest demand of traditional whiteboard came from schools. The school application was valued at USD 1,550.0 Million, in 2016. "
  • "Offices, another application of traditional whiteboard is anticipated to be the fastest growing application of traditional whiteboard market and is anticipated to register the highest CAGR, during the forecast period in terms of both value and volume"
  • "On the basis of surface material, porcelain held the largest share of global traditional whiteboard market in 2016, and is expected to hold its position over the forecast period"
  • "On the basis of type, mountable whiteboard held the larger share in 2016, and is anticipated to continue holding the larger share, throughout the forecast period"
Quotes
  • "We can see how prevalent the white boards are, be it in offices, colleges or schoolz. Whiteboards provide professional set-up to learning processes. "
  • "It has actually augmented the outlook of blackboard. It does not require chalk, hence making it convenient and hassle free."
  • "Whiteboards have further modified to contemporary digital boards which are being used in smart classroom. Teachers use well-designed software to grab the attention of students by projecting colourful visuals on it."
Quotes
  • "Whiteboard pen (or a dry-erase marker) is a non-permanent marker that uses an erasable ink. Its main purpose is to be used on slick, non-porous writing surfaces like whiteboards and overhead projectors and to be easily erased without leaving marks with a dry eraser."
  • "Before there were dry-erase markers there were wet-erase markers. These could not be erased by a dry eraser but with a wet cloth. After them came whiteboard pens."
  • "The first whiteboard pen was invented by Jerry Woolf who worked in Techform Laboratories. Later it was patented by Pilot Pen in 1975. Sanford made their dry marker called EXPO in 1976."
  • "It was a bulky marker and available in black, red, blue, and green. Later, Sanford added thin variants, less unpleasant odor and many more colors. Europe accepted whiteboard and dry markers in 1980s. United States had to wait until ‘90s."
  • "Then came dry marker and whiteboards started replacing blackboards because of allergies concerns and other potential health risks posed by chalk dust that was product of erasing blackboards. "
Quotes
  • "The ink is made of color pigments, a chemical solvent and a polymer or “release agent.” The difference between dry erase markers and permanent markers is the kind of polymer used."
  • "Permanent markers use an acrylic polymer that helps the pigment stick to surfaces, while dry erase markers use an oily silicone polymer.” In addition, dry erase boards have a static charge, which allows the pigment in dry erase markers to stick to the surface."