Keele University’s Smart Innovation Hub is a new, state-of-the-art building consisting of learning spaces for the Keele Business School, as well as meeting rooms for Staffordshire County Council and other building tenants.
From an AV perspective, the solution needed to be modern, resilient, easy to use and offer a long shelf life. From an academic perspective, the solution had to deliver high quality sound and visual reproduction through an easy to understand control interface.
The building’s main lecture theatre is now equipped with two Panasonic laser projectors, displaying onto two 3.5m widescreen fixed frame projection screens. AV control is provided via an Extron Touchscreen interface and provides a choice of sources including; HDMI, VGA, Wolfvision Visualiser and Poly VC System to enable quick channel switching. Audio comprises a Sennheiser radio microphone, two Shure Lectern microphones, an Extron DSP, amplifier, and a number of ceiling and wall speakers.
A smaller lecture theatre replicates the set-up of the main lecture theatre, but with a single projector and 3m widescreen fixed frame screen.
The Digital Suite, a room typically used for stock market simulation, uses a Wyrestorm AV over IP solution to distribute content from any of the 24 PCs onto a choice of three Philips large format displays on demand. The AV control and audio is also provided by a custom GUI Extron Touchscreen.
Elsewhere in the building, seminar spaces are equipped with Philips 75” wall-mounted displays and Top-Tec lecterns with in-built Extron channel switches. Two on-site meeting rooms comprise of an Extron button controller and input plate, Philips 75” wall-mounted displays and AMX Acendo Vibe sound bars.
A number of commercial displays, including a 75” Philips display, are now located in the reception area and Atrium and are being used as digital signage solutions. Furthermore, four collaboration booths consist of 32” Philips displays complete with three HDMI inputs and the space is completed with four individual working booths which are set up with a 24” monitor and in-built webcam.
The AV set-up has delivered a fantastic new modern learning space with the latest technology. The collaborative technology used in the Digital Suite is not only highly valued by the teaching staff, it is also a huge bonus to the learning experience.
Feedback from academics has been about how easy the system is to use, with an easy to follow user interface which is carried over different rooms making setting up AV simpler for staff who use various spaces.
The provision of Extron programming for the AV control has enabled Audio Visual Services staff at Keele to feel confident in working with kit and providing support to colleagues, and is easy for them to change and update when the need arises.