SMART Technologies, the world's leading provider of interactive whiteboards, announces the acquisition of New Zealand-based NextWindow (Next Holdings Limited), a leading designer and manufacturer of optical touch technology for integration into all-in-one computers, computer displays and large-format screens. The acquisition reinforces SMART's own investment in optical touch research and development, and combines the two companies' significant optical touch patent portfolios. The NextWindow acquisition is expected to have minimal impact on both businesses' day-to-day operations, offices and company structure. Both SMART and NextWindow are privately held companies. NextWindow supplies optical touch components to manufacturers of PCs and other interactive displays. Its touch components are used in PCs and monitors sold by Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Medion, NEC, Samsung and Sony. The acquisition extends SMART's current presence in the education, business and government sectors into the broader consumer market.
SMART is also expanding its business in Asia, where NextWindow has already been active. In the past year, NextWindow has developed an Asian presence in Singapore, Taiwan and Korea. 'SMART serves a range of markets, and it is timely to diversify our revenue base beyond the sectors we already serve,' says Nancy Knowlton, SMART's CEO. 'NextWindow's core values, business model, patent portfolio and focus on the consumer market make it an attractive acquisition for us.' 'We are combining two companies with complementary expertise and a remarkably similar culture focused on innovation and excellence,' says Al Monro, NextWindow's CEO. “NextWindow's development of optical touch technology complements SMART's efforts, and I'm delighted that we are becoming part of SMART.'