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Toshiba sloughs culpability as pupils' flakey skin gums up whiteboards

TRAIN OPERATORS invited derision when they blamed delays on the wrong sort of snow. But one electronics manufacturer has an even better excuse for its products breaking down: the wrong sort of skin.

Following a spate of failures in three now-discontinued models of whiteboard projector sold to dozens of schools, Toshiba has said the T40, T80 and T90 were being damaged by the speed at which children shed their skins.

The machines have been used successfully in offices and boardrooms, the company say. But it claims pupils slough so fast, the extra dust has been interfering with the machine's colour sensor, which converts white light into colour.

Martin Ireland, Toshiba's head of information systems, has admitted that in hindsight the projectors may not have been ideal for school use, because they lacked a small protective guard to keep the dust out.

He said: "We would admit that there has been a much higher failure rate than you would expect. Children shed their skins six times faster than adults, so it is a much dustier environment."

The Japanese electronics giant says there have been around 157 failures on 250 machines sold to schools in West Sussex, where the majority were despatched as part of the Government's interactive whiteboard initiative.

But Eurotechnix, a Government-approved technology supplier, claimed it has recorded 497 failures within two years.

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