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Pure AV fits Lancaster University with bespoke collaboration suite

Pure AV has introduced a new collaboration suite at Lancaster University to accommodate up to 35 students seated around five Top-Tec Synergy Quad workstations.

The brief stated Pure AV needed to combine the bespoke programming of the control system and user interface with the Kramer Via collaboration system, and retains the existing lectern, projector and AMX control system.

Each desk has a 42in Panasonic TH-42LFE8 display with HDMI and VGA input for laptops. A Kramer Via Connect Pro provides wireless device connectivity, and local source switching and display control are managed via an eight button AMX control pad situated at each student desk.

The arrangement enables students to work in groups connecting to the display screen with their own devices enabling collaboration, with the finished files available for instant sharing with every team member.

The Kramer Via also allows the user to maintain web access when connected to the network for screen mirroring. An important specification point for the management school and something that other solutions looked at by the university had not been able to support.

The main tutor desk in the room can display content on the main projection display (a pre-existing Panasonic PT-RZ570 laser projector), as well as to each group desk. Additionally, a Kramer Via Collage and Kramer VS88DT matrix switch enable the tutor desk to select and distribute the content from any of the group desks to any or all other displays in the room.

The system provides both tutor and students with flexibility and choice in the way that content is managed and displayed. The user interface has been designed to make the process of managing those choices as straightforward as possible.

Steve Barron, programme director MSc project management at Lancaster University, is one of the early adopters of the Collaborative Suite and has used the room for teaching and student presentation of group work. He said: “My experience of the room has been very, very good. Use of the technology is very easy and intuitive. With no training, I was able to work out how to use the technology in minutes.”

Lancaster is now planning future installations based on the same template with a second room due for install in the next couple of months. Barron concluded: “I like the café style layout because it provides good and easy group working facilities…With the added technology that is easy to control, sharing of group work is easy. More rooms like this, please!”