There was a special bonus for EUNIS members earlier this year when InfoComm invited us to be their guests at Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) 2017 and at a special mini conference entitled Creating a Smarter Campus.
I attended along with Thierry Koscielniak from the EUNIS Board and a number of other members. This was my first visit and I was absolutely amazed at how enormous the exhibition was. Luckily InfoComm kindly gave us a guided tour otherwise I would have been completely lost. The displays were dazzling!
As you might expect from a huge A/V trade show that covers many sectors, the emphasis was more on displaying content than the creation and storage of content. There was however an education strand and plenty of new things to see. I was particularly taken by the virtual reality area. I tried out a simulation designed for training apprentices in the construction industry. I took a crane to the top of Battersea Power Station and looked out over the whole of the London skyline feeling the wind in my hair. Sadly, I didn’t follow proper safety protocols and crashed on the way back down.
Thierry was interested in how 3D viewing might have the potential to transform the lecture experience, particularly in science subjects. There was however only one company, from China, displaying giant 3D screens. Other suppliers told us they are already looking towards 4D.
We saw some great examples of linked Smart board type screens whereby people could be presenting and annotating material in two different sites. The boards were dynamically linked so that the handwritten annotations show up real time in both locations. This would seem to have great potential for research as well as teaching.
The Creating a Smarter Campus conference was a very interactive event where we had presentations on a number of topics and then all participants discussed the presentations using a version of the de Bono Thinking Hats approach to evaluate what it might mean in their context. We looked particularly at designing learning spaces for the future, BYOD and remote management. Key themes were the increasing convergence of IT and AV and the need for a strategic approach that links investment in these areas to your key priorities as an education provider.
Our thanks go to InfoComm for organising a great event and we look forward to seeing more of you at future EUNIS events.
My top tip for anybody attending next year: make sure you wear sensible shoes! My fitbit told me I walked 8km round the exhibition hall and I reckon I didn’t even see half of it.