GTCO Corporation

GTCO Corporation was founded in 1975 and received a patent on an first absolute-position, electromagetic digitizer (US Patent No: 4,206,314).  Originally headquartered in Rockville, Maryland, GTCO moved to a new office space at 7125 Riverwood Drive, Columbia, MD circa 1985 as the company expanded.

Popular digitizer brands provided by GTCO corporation included: DigiPad, Super L, Roll-Up, AccuTab, AccuLite, Macintizer, Sketchmaster, Ultima and CADPro.  Digitizers were sold into the Construction Estimating, CAD, Graphic Arts and GIS/Mapping industries.

Key dates in GTCO's history included:

  • In 1995, GTCO acquired Sciences Accessories Corporation, a publically traded company based in Shelton, Connecticut, which made the GP9 and GP12 sonic digitizers.  The GP9 was a standard 2D digitizer, while the GP12 was a 3D digitizer.  The GP9 and GP12 were discontinued as standard products in about 2010.
  • In 1998, GTCO acquired the assets of Kontron Electronics, a German Digitizer manufacturer producing the DigiCad and DigiKon digitizer series.
  • In 1999, GTCO acquired the assets of CalComp Input Technologies, a division of CalComp, Inc. a publicly traded company (NASDAQ: CLCP) with Lockheed Martin as the majority shareholder. CalComp had previously acquired:
    • Summagraphics, a publicly traded company (NASDAQ: SUGR).
    • Houston Instruments, a private company

With the acquisition of CalComp Input Technologies, GTCO began doing business as GTCO CalComp, Inc. and added the DrawingBoard Series, SummaGrid and SummaSketch digitizers and ScanPlus Large Format Scanner Series to it's product mix.

In 1999, after having worked successfully with Hitachi Software to provide an OEM electromagnetic interactive whiteboard under the Hitachi Starboard name, GTCO CalComp began development of it's own branded version of an interactive whiteboard and established a software development team to create the Interwrite Software.  The initial focus of this new solution was the corporate market and the product was branded the DrawingBoard Interactive (DBi) with Interwrite Software to leverage the DrawingBoard brand and was introduced in 2000.  There was little brand and channel crossover between the Digitizer Market and the Interactive Whiteboard Market, so the product was quickly renamed and repositioned as the MeetingBoard.

After focusing on the corporate market for a year, GTCO CalComp introduced the SchoolBoard, an interactive whiteboard targeted to the education market around the world.  The product was sold in both K-12 and Higher education markets.  The product line was expanded in the 2002 timeframe with the SchoolPad and MeetingPad product lines, a small handheld wireless tablet that allowed the computer and screen to be controlled from anywhere in the room, as well as having the ability to utilize up to 7 pads within the classroom, making it a great collaborative tool.  GTCO CalComp was awarded a patent on the pad.

In 2004, GTCO CalComp, Inc. acquired EduCue, LLC, a provider of the PRS (Personal Response System) which provided the entry for GTCO CalComp into the classroom assessment market.  The product was rebranded as Interwrite PRS, and significant product development efforts were initiated to update the hardware to RF (2.4GHz) and to significantly update the Java software.  The PRS RF product was the first two way RF classroom assessment device that incorporated an LCD display and all question types.  It also provided multiple modes of operation, the standard classroom mode, a self paced test mode and a homework mode.

With the growth of the Interwrite brand, in 2006, the Interwrite Learning division was established as part of GTCO Corporation.  In 2008, eInstruction, a competitor in the industry acquired GTCO Corporation, which included both GTCO CalComp and Interwrite Learning.  eInstruction was owned by Leeds Equity, a private equity company in New York City. 

In August 2013, the assets of eInstruction were sold to Turning Technologies, a Youngstown, OH based competitor in the industry.