Tokyo / Japan,

Keio University Continues to Invest in Advanced Technologies from Shure

Keio University Continues to Invest in Advanced Technologies from Shure

Shonan Fujisawa Campus (SFC) adopts the MXA910 Ceiling Array Microphone in Smart Interactive Classroom

Tokyo, November 2017 – Ranked among the World’s Top Innovative Universities, the Keio University Shonan Fujisawa Campus (SFC) is known for putting to use cutting-edge technologies to achieve its mission to resolve problems in today’s diverse and complex society. Dedicated to merging technology with sciences, SFC invests in the most advanced equipment available, has implemented cross-campus Wi-Fi access, and periodically updates its AV equipment and video conference systems.

The university already placed its trust in Shure in 2012, with a campus-wide deployment of over 80 channels of ULX-D Digital Wireless Systems (read more) and returned to Shure earlier this year with the installation of the new Microflex™ Advance™ MXA910 Ceiling Array Microphone as AV conference solution in its o (omicron) 16 classroom. Mr. Isao Nagasaka, person-in-charge of multimedia services at SFC, shares his impressions:

"The o16 classroom is designed for students to attend remote classes taught by researchers and teachers from other universities, or to conduct video conference lessons in association with other universities. In addition, this classroom is sometimes used as screening venue for doctoral theses, graduate student presentations, publication of research contents, as well as interaction between examiners and faculty members outside the university by means of video conference. For these purposes, we had already used ceiling microphones in the past to enable students and faculty staff to converse naturally without needing to hold a microphone."

Continuing a strong relationship with Shure since the introduction of ULX-D at its campus, SFC served as a product tester for the MXA910 prior to product’s launch in 2016. Mr. Nagasaka recalls, “We often get invited to test new products from renowned manufacturers like Shure. I understood that Shure was a company which greatly valued the opinion of end users for product development purposes, so I asked for our staff and teachers' help to communicate any thoughts they had towards Shure products, such as functions that they thought would make the products easier to use."

“I really loved the design of Shure’s Ceiling Array Microphone when I first saw it. Besides, the product showed an excellent cost-performance ratio which outperformed the solution from a different manufacturer we had used in the past. Eventually, the o16 was the first classroom in SFC where we installed the MXA910.”

“We are generally cautious when updating or retrofitting existing classroom systems with new solutions, and do not easily switch manufacturers, so as to avoid any potential problems or unknown risks. It is however SFC's policy to use the most advanced equipment, and Shure offered the latest technology in this respect. So after repeated tests we became confident that the new ceiling array solution would work well in our classroom and we went ahead with the switch."

In terms of installation, the MXA910 was mounted near the window, in the vicinity of an air conditioner. At first, Mr. Nagasaka was worried that noises of the air conditioner might interfere, or the voices of students sitting at the far corners of the room might not be picked up clearly. The result however was that air conditioning noises could hardly be heard thanks to the microphone’s Steerable Coverage™ Technology, which finely adjusts 8 individual sound pickup patterns, and the integrated IntelliMix™ digital signal processing which increases speech intelligibility.

“Up to now, we had to be very careful about implementation and placement of ceiling mic systems. The adjustable pickup patterns and channel levels of the MXA910 made it highly versatile, and the browser-based configuration further eliminated the need for a dedicated PC, thus making this solution highly convenient for us.

Mr. Nagasaka continues, "My ideal conference room system for remote classes is one where lessons can progress without thought being given to someone attending remotely. The MXA910 has zero impact on the room design, nor does it give an oppressive feeling, yet it works well with students in all areas of the classroom and with voices of varied volumes. The microphone’s performance, and the fact that it fits on the ceiling, makes it very appealing. I have even received compliments from teachers of other campuses on SFC's sound quality. I am very pleased to have heard such feedback,” concludes Mr. Nagasaka.

In addition to the MXA910, the o16 classroom also utilizes a ULX-D Digital Wireless System and an SCM820 IntelliMix™ Automatic Mixer at the podium.

 

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