University College London (UCL) is London’s leading multidisciplinary university, with a well-deserved reputation globally as one of the finest seats of learning in the UK. Since 1826, it has championed independent thought by attracting and nurturing the world’s best minds, and today it is the second largest physical University in the UK, home to 38,000 students and 12,000 staff.
As a leading university at the forefront of teaching, it is a pioneer in the way it uses modern teaching methods and technology to ensure it delivers a world class learning experience for its students.
Today, Vivitek’s NovoPro – a powerful, wireless collaboration tool – is playing a fundamental role in helping to invigorate lectures while bringing students’ work and projects to life.
Paul Burt, Spaces & AV Service Owner, Information Services Division, University College London, who is responsible for the technical facilities in 700 teaching spaces across the institution, explains more:
We had a requirement for a wireless presentation solution that was simple to use but could easily scale to an enterprise-grade level. I was aware that there were some complex solutions already available on the market, but they were very expensive. I then came across the NovoPro on Vivitek’s booth at ISE 2016.
Impressed by its rich feature-set and attractive price point they were soon pressed into service, with the first project they were used for marking a significant moment in the university’s history – the opening of a world-class business school, located on the 38th floor of the prestigious One Canada Square tower in Canary Wharf.
The next project was even more ambitious, with a subsequent 15 NovoPros installed in teaching spaces at the Bartlett School of Architecture on Gordon Street. In that application, multiple connections to the NovoPros are being used to enable architecture students to connect up to display and discuss their work with other students and their lecturers. This new, interactive and collaborative method for sharing work and ideas replaces cabled display connections and to some extent, the paper-based display of designs and concepts.
NovoPro is ideal for education applications, as the platform is designed to ensure a top quality wireless experience, yet at a price-performance point that makes it easily affordable for any classroom, meeting room, boardroom or huddle space. With NovoPro as the hub, contributing digital content onto the projection screen is fast and simple and the additional features such as on screen annotation and capture open up a vast array of creative possibilities in any meeting. Participants can instantly connect their device via a WiFi connection to NovoPro and start sharing immediately once the meeting host assigns them one of the four (split screen) projection connections.
Featuring a powerful Quad-Core processor, NovoPro is a fast operating wireless hub for any learning space, class room or meeting room. Multiple devices (up to 64 in client mode) can be connected at any one time, while four can be actively projecting in a split screen. This empowers users to share content with the group on the main display through its full mirroring capabilities. Its cross OS platform compatibility ensures NovoPro supports all types of WiFi enabled devices including iPads, iPhones, as well as their Android equivalents, alongside Chromebooks, laptops and all types of desktop PC.
Given the value that NovoPro adds to the learning experience, it is often in use from 9am to 10pm at UCL, with no failed units or problems reported, which – despite its attractive and very competitive price point – illustrates its inherent robustness and suitability for a large scale, high-usage deployments, as Paul explains:
It does everything we need it to, and it’s cost effective. We also like the fact that given this is a reasonably new market that’s evolving quite quickly, the attractive price point of the NovoPro means we’re not financially committed to one product route, which gives us more flexibility over our future AV needs and how we can accommodate them.
Paul estimates that circa 1,000 students are using the current NovoPro units which are linked into the University’s EduRoam wi-fi network. “The network configuration was quite straightforward,” Paul added.On a more practical, day-to-day level, Paul points to another problem that NovoPro has solved:
One of the benefits of NovoPro is that it is always a challenge to maintain working HDMI leads in a teaching space. Not relying on the HDMI leads also prevents trip risk incidents from occurring and there’s no need to swap HDMI cables between students’ devices.
This observation is evidence that NovoPro really does simplify the collaboration process. Paul enthuses over NovoPro’s other qualities.
Although we don’t use it yet, with a view to the future we like the fact that iOS Mirroring support has been included. It’s also very easy to use, and I’d go as far to say that it is as good as – and performs as well as – products costing three times as much.
Asked whether based on his experiences to date Paul would recommend the NovoPro to other education institutions, he replied with an emphatic “Yes!”