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My $5 Lightboard

I teach online classes and often I find myself drawing to explain concepts. Using Paint with a mouse is a painful job if you quickly want to scribble something complex. I miss by white board so much.
I tried to make my camera point to my notepad, used boogie board and even a paste-on-whiteboard. The experience is not always so great.
Well, where there is problem, there is innovation!
I have some clear glasses from some illusion experiments. One of them was the right size, I placed it between me and the camera and wrote over it with a board marker. I flipped camera image horizontally in settings and my students could read it from their end. However, I had to ensure there is a consistent background all the time.
This made me thinking, what if my Ink can glow! I might be able to get away with a specific background requirement.
I used a fluorescent marker and some UV light. Drawings with marker, light up in UV light. This works in different lightning conditions. I have good natural light in my room, tried with curtains closed and in room lighting as well.


With a little bit of polishing and fixing the UV LED projection angles, the results can be made more consistent for the remote user. If you notice, the backdrop is really colourful and the content is still readable. I’ll pat my back at this point! Great Job!
All I used is a sheet of glass ($2), 10 UV LED ($2) and Fluorescent highlighter ($1). I don’t need a dark room or a curtain/wall at my back. Right from my desk, LIVE!
Original Lightboard was invented by Prof. Michael Peshkin at Northwestern University

I am a curious mind, always building and experimenting, trying things to decode their inner design. Kind of a small scale inventor ;-) I like to help people realise their passion.

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