Hitachi has signalled Australia’s emergence as a key Oceania market during a tour of the country touting a new interactive whiteboard it hopes will soon be expanded into the distribution market.
Visiting from Japan, HitachiSoft’s manager of interactive media solutions division, Yasuhiro Nakada,said that while the Oceania market had not yielded significant sales in the past compared to Europe or the US, the company is anticipating a big year in Australia for 2009.
“Our company did not see the Australian market to be such a big place until this year, but now it is growing so much that they can’t ignore it and it is becoming a very important part in our company,” Nakada said.
Hitachi invited ARN to its Sydney headquarters for a demonstration of its new StarBoard FX-Duo, an interactive whiteboard launched in Australia in August that the company is hoping will transform classroom learning environments and spearhead strong local sales revenues in 2009.
The hard surface, low-reflection board enables multiple users to write on a computer display projected onto a whiteboard using their fingers, a special pen, or a retractable wand.
The board also doubles as a regular whiteboard and can be connected to any laptop to offer all regular computing functionality, in addition to a suite of StarBoard educational programs, templates and learning tools that are customisable to suit all classroom subjects.
Hitachi’s product manager for digital presentation solutions, Bill Christoforou, said the FX-Duo is primarily focused through Hitachi’s premium audio-visual dealers because it requires a high level of product knowledge and serviceability. The dealer must be able to train users on the hardware and software elements, and be onsite within a very small timeframe if support is needed.
“Moving forward we’d like to see the product expand further into the distribution market. At this stage we are yet to find a distie that we can partner up on that could provide that level of overall product serviceability. We’re still actively searching, and hoping in the near future to partner up with a distributor to help us go to the next level in terms of penetration,” he said.
While the FX-Duo is equally suited to corporate environments, Nakada said the company was seeing the strongest adoption in Australia’s education market.
“We’re excited to see the Australian market accepting this product much faster than we expected,” he said.