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News digest: Sony launches AI-based remote learning solution, and more…

Today's flurry of tech news features Sony Australia and its AI ed-tech, a new HD home streaming amp from Harmon Kardon, QSC's new endpoint, and an award-winning PA/VA install in Poland

Sony launches AI-based remote learning solution for education

Sony Australia has announced the launch of a new AI-based remote learning solution that combines its new MAS-A100 beamforming microphone with its Edge Analytic appliance to help enable classes to be taught remotely.

The company said that the combination of Edge Analytics, MAS-A100, Sony PTZ cameras, projectors and BRAVIA 4K displays when used together give lecturers a “clever, efficient and professional remote teaching platform – a major plus for universities in these challenging times”.

Daniel Hancox, Sony Australia’s group manager for business and institutional solutions, explained, “The impact of social distancing and other restrictions on people’s movements has had a serious effect on face to face learning. Many tertiary education facilities are currently restricted or even closed and universities need new and innovative alternatives in order to teach,” he said.

“The remote learning solution Sony has developed is uniquely positioned as we are able to provide and integrate all the products that are required in order to enable lecturers to provide first-class teaching and for students to learn remotely.”

New HD streaming systems to power home installs 

A new Citation Amp from Harmon Kardon has been released, designed to bring the power of HD streaming to home entertainment systems.

The amp can power bookshelf, floor standing, in-wall or in-ceiling speakers, and can combine with other Harman Kardon Citation products to create a multi-channel wireless surround sound system.

The amp comes with 125 watts of Class D amplification per channel, connections including HDMI ARC and access to over 300 music streaming services through built-in Chromecast and AirPlay, and is compatible with residential automation control systems including both Control4 and Crestron.

New switchable endpoint from QSC

QSC has released a new ‘multipurpose’ NV-32-H (Core Capable) native network endpoint for its Q_SYS Ecosystem.

The endpoint allows users to switch between ‘Core Mode’, which transforms the device into a fully capable Q-SYS processor with local HDMI switching capabilities, and its existing ‘Peripheral Mode’, which is designed for network HDMI video distribution over standard AV networks.

“Our definition of meeting rooms has dramatically changed over the past nine months with an increased need for smaller rooms with collaboration at the forefront,” said Josh Arnold, senior product manager, installed systems at QSC. “We used this opportunity to reimagine the NV-32-H and develop a multipurpose, all-encompassing endpoint that gives integrators flexibility to meet specific room needs, while reducing hardware, especially for rooms where real estate comes at an absolute premium, and simplify integration and optimize system costs.”

In either ‘Core Mode’ or ‘Peripheral Mode’, the new endpoint offers integration for video conferencing applications such as Microsoft Teams Rooms, Zoom and Google Hangouts Meet, and acts as a plug-and-play access point for USB delivery of Q-SYS audio and conference room cameras.

Ambient System celebrates role in MIPIM 2020 award 

PA and voice alarm specialist Ambient System has been celebrating its role in the development of Granary Island in Gdańsk, Poland, which has won a MIPIM 2020 award for Best Urban Project.

The project, led by developer Immobel Poland, was recosgnised for its contribution to offering “better livelihoods, improving social inclusion, increasing economic growth and inventing the city of tomorrow where humans will be at the centre of everything”.

Ambient System was a key partner in the installation of public address and voice alarm systems (PA/VA) throughout the complex of spacious apartments and modern hotels. The company installed its Multives systems which come with speech intelligibility measurement and consist of control units, multi-channel power amplifiers, power management units, a fireman’s microphone, and zone microphones with dedicated 20-button extensions.

The digital platform comes with a transmission protocol developed by Ambient System, which allows users to send evacuation and audio signals across the entire system network, guaranteeing time synchronisation when playing back messages between units and immediate switching to the back-up circuit in the event of an active connection failure.