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Page history last edited by iandoktor@... 10 years, 6 months ago

Challenges for the Black Box


There are two primary challenges that the Black Box faces.  The first is the level of technical difficulty required to set it up.  Although technical support can be provided with the purchase of the equipment, setting up each experiment will require teachers to have a thorough knowledge of network connections, the Vernier equipment and the internet. Fortunately Vernier has already had great success with its digital sensors.  Because the Black Box essentially piggy-backs on Vernier's technology much of the necessary education has already been done by Vernier.  However, the level of technical experience among teachers varies greatly and although there are many teachers who have the required technical knowledge, many don't.  Fortunately as time progresses and the internet and its associated technologies become more integrated into our daily lives, the level of technical expertise among educators will increase.  So in a relatively short period of time, (specifically with the retirement of the baby-boomer generation) this problem will solve itself.


The second problem facing the Black Box concerns Vernier itself.  When a school purchases a Black Box, they no longer require additional sensors and interface equipment from Vernier. In short, the Black Box will undercut Vernier sales.  This may result it Vernier attempting to make their hardware and software less accessible to the Black Box interface.  This would be a major problem, however there are currently numerous third party suppliers of sensors similar to those that Vernier makes.  These are sensors that Vernier does not directly supply but are nonetheless able to be used by the interface software.  Some examples of these are USB photospectroscopes or colorimeters that use the same software but do not need to be connected by a Vernier interface. 


The possibility is also open for a strategic partnership with Vernier regarding the marketing and production of the Black Box.  A secondary market also exists with Vernier's competition, PASCO.  It would not be difficult to modify the software and interface of the Black Box to perform the same function with PASCO's equipment.


Despite these challenges, there is significant potential both with the original market and in other areas.  It is for these reasons that I hope you will consider the Black Box a worthwhile investment.


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