The whiteboard of the future is here – and it’s superb

By Kitty Knowles 20 March 2017

Pen and ink: Send your doodle to anyone, anywhere.

Unless your a superb scribbler, whiteboards aren’t that much fun: they certainly haven’t changed much since being invented in the late 1950s.

Now though, there’s a new digital version in town. And it looks So. Much. Fun.

Mostly because you can send your doodles to anyone, anywhere in the world, to be drawn out in real-time.

Meet the Joto

Okay, okay, technically, the Joto isn’t a whiteboard. Made by the Those, it’s ‘the first connected display to draw with a pen’.

“Its an alternative digital-analogue display that isn’t a screen,” says Those founder Jim Rhodes.

“Hang Joto on the wall at home and it’s a picture frame that draws its own art or a family to do list. Put it up a cafe and it’s an updatable menu. Or use it in the workplace and it’s a team noticeboard,” he explains.

The possibilities are endless.

The plan behind Joto

Rhodes came up with Joto after creating the Woodpecker – a large interactive drawing machine for scribbling on shop windows.

“I used to work in a retail department store and was frustrated by how little beyond printed graphics were being used to engage customers,” he explained.

Now, in its new form, the Joto can be used on a personal level; controlled through an app on your smartphone or computer.

“You can discover, create and share jots,” Rhodes explains. “You can download art from professional artists and illustrators, create your own drawings or messages, and even make todo lists or noticeboards.”

The fancy gadget even has an auto-eraser, and a dock that re-fills your pens ink.

A return to the physical

The Joto might sound novel, but it actually ties into the wider trend towards mindfulness.

“People are discovering new ways to interact with internet,” says Rhodes. “There’s something about a pen writing or drawing that everyone connects with.”

The idea idea is that we should try to use screens less (where possible), or at least use them in new tactile ways.

“When a drawing or message has taken time to be created, and exists in the physical space, we have a much deeper emotional with it,” says Rhodes.

The future

Having already smashed their £100,000 Kickstarter goal, the Those team is now getting manufacturing underway.

It’s also keen to get it’s ‘365 Days of Art’ sub-project in full-swing (this will send users a new piece of art for their Joto every day for a year).

Beyond this, Rhodes imagines “a Joto on every wall”. We certainly want one on ours.

Will you hang one on yours?

Watch the Joto teaser video below…