As the Director of the Doceo Center for Innovation + Learning at the University of Idaho, Cassidy Hall is responsible for testing various technologies and making purchasing recommendations to departments throughout the university.
In doing so, she’s witnessed firsthand the growing hunger among students and faculty for high-quality videoconferencing and distance learning capabilities, and, as a result, three years ago began using PanaCast 2 180-degree view camera systems as both permanent room solutions and mobile, plug-and-play options as part of a camera lending program.
“When we redesigned one of our buildings three years ago, we took the opportunity to add some new technology,” Hall said, “and part of that involved integrating two PanaCast 2 cameras into tables of tech-enhanced active learning classrooms. The next year we began supporting the Zoom videoconferencing platform campus wide, and demand for cameras became an everyday occurrence.”
Since then, Hall has purchased and deployed a dozen PanaCast 2 camera systems that provide professional-quality video and can capture the entirety of even the smallest huddle room or office.
“Looking forward, we are definitely aiming for a telecommuting-friendly infrastructure,” she added. “We are offering more and more hybrid courses, especially in graduate programs, and the PanaCast 2 cameras afford professors the opportunity to deliver a classroom-like view to remote students. This building gets a lot of traffic because it’s new, so I am constantly promoting technologies to faculty, showing that with the right equipment, they too can create simple, affordable, videoconferencing-ready spaces.”
Hall capitalized on the high-traffic location to start a lending program that makes cameras available to any faculty who request them. This is a particularly good fit for the PanaCast 2, because it is a truly plug-and-play camera system that connects to any PC or laptop in seconds and requires no set up or technical expertise. The ultra-wide-angle view provides a huge benefit as well, allowing educators to utilize small spaces while still capturing every room participant.
“In all instances, it’s very helpful to have a plug and play camera system,” Hall noted. “Some of the buildings used for meetings don’t have a lot of integrated technology, but now we can drop into any room with a laptop and a PanaCast 2 and instantly have a full video conferencing solution. This system is a fantastic way for colleges to get into distance learning without huge expense.”
Currently, the Doceo Center has six PanaCast 2 camera systems permanently stationed in small meeting-style rooms they call ‘team rooms’, while five others are fixed in classrooms and one unit is available through the lending program. The team rooms include a table with six seats, a wall-mounted digital display, a PC, and a PanaCast 2 mounted below the display. The widening availability of videoconferencing on campus has even led some professors to begin offering online office hours, broadening the value of the technology and providing greater institutional flexibility.
“I don’t think we have a conference room right now that doesn’t have a VC setup ready to go,” Hall added. “Video already plays a far bigger role in higher education than it did ten or even five years ago, and it’s only going to become more important and desired. Colleges and departments looking to expand their distance learning capabilities need solutions that are affordable, flexible, reliable and easy to use, and we’ve discovered the PanaCast 2 camera checks all those boxes.”
About The University of Idaho
The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 12,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky Conference. Learn more at www.uidaho.com.
About Altia Systems
Altia Systems®, a venture-backed company based in Cupertino, CA that was funded by Intel Capital and other leading investors, is the creator of the PanaCast® camera systems and Intelligent Vision software products. The company completed a successful acquisition with GN Jabra in March 2019
PanaCast solutions deliver real-time 180° Panoramic-4K, Panoramic-5K and 4K 3D video streams from integrated, synchronized and optimized multi-camera arrays. PanaCast systems and Intelligent Vision (artificial intelligence) software products are used by more than 1,600 companies worldwide, including 200+ universities, for video collaboration, education, AR/VR, live broadcasting and machine learning for autonomous systems. PanaCast system devices are designed and assembled in the U.S. and have received prestigious awards such as CES Innovation Awards Honoree designations, Frost & Sullivan New Product Innovation, GOOD DESIGN award, Gartner Cool Vendor in Unified Communications, the peer-reviewed, by-invitation Design Showcase at the 2019 International Solid-State Circuits Conference, and more.
For more information and the latest updates, visit www.panacast.com and follow @PanaCast1 via Twitter.
Jabra is a leader in engineering communications and sound solutions – innovating to empower both consumers and businesses. Proudly part of the GN Group, we are committed to letting people hear more, do more, and be more than they ever thought possible. Through sound, we help transform lives. Jabra engineering excellence leads the way, building on 150 years of pioneering work. This allows us to create integrated headsets and communications tools that help professionals work more productively; and wireless headphones and earbuds that let consumers better enjoy calls, music, and media. Jabra employs approximately 1,100 people worldwide and reported annual revenue of DKK 4.7bn in 2018. The GN Group, founded in 1869, operates in 100 countries and delivers innovation, reliability, and ease of use. Today, GN employs 6,000 people, and is Nasdaq Copenhagen listed. GN makes life sound better. www.jabra.com