University of Dundee, Scotland

Cynap plays key role in state-of-the-art learning spaces

Designed to encourage innovation and creativity, the University of Dundee Dalhousie Building in Scotland was named ‘Best Commercial/Public Building’ by the Dundee Institute of Architects in 2007. In early 2018, the University approached AV integrator Streamtec to design a learning space for up to 89 students, by combining several classrooms together, to create a large multi-functional collaboration space. The new learning space was designed to be used by single or multiple groups working together, or alternatively used by students dropping in on their own to work. The space could also be used for online exams and a variety of workshop sessions would take place in the room, where groups could collaborate using the tables, with classroom work being easily shared across multiple tables throughout the room.

Multi-functional collaboration room, University of Dundee, Dalhousie Building
Multi-functional collaboration room, University of Dundee, Dalhousie Building

After visiting the WolfVision trade show stand at ISE 2018, and attending a LTSMG WolfVision Technology Day in London shortly afterwards, the University selected WolfVision’s vSolution MATRIX active learning classroom collaboration solution as the core collaboration technology for the room. A single WolfVision Cynap hardware unit, designated as the ‘main’ system in the room, was connected to the university network infrastructure, and to 13x Cynap Core units, each mounted in the 19” rack of a TeamMate WorksZone table. Each table was fitted with a custom-designed monitor mount, and a 48” Panasonic 48LFE8E display screen.

Classroom content material is easily shared between these connected monitors over the university network, with all processing performed by the installed Cynap systems themselves. The advantage of this was that it eliminated the need for the purchasing of any additional encoding/decoding hardware. One of the key objectives of the project was to enable users to switch between their own personal work, and to collaborate with other students on the table if they wanted to. Switching the screen to show different user content could be done by manually pressing a source on an Extron TLP Pro 7” touch panel at the end of the table.

Main Cynap unit with vSolution MATRIX-enabled feature pack, installed in the 19“rack of a TeamMate Educator lectern.
Main Cynap unit with vSolution MATRIX-enabled feature pack, installed in the 19“rack of a TeamMate Educator lectern.

The Cynap Cores on each workstation provide access to cloud services, a built-in web browser, and connected network drives, plus they offer annotaion and whiteboard functionality. In addition, the Cynap Cores also possess wireless presentation capability to enable students to connect their own mobile devices to the screen. A key advantage of the Cynap Core system when used for this application is that with support for AirPlay, Chromecast and Miracast mirroring protocols, no apps, additional software or dongles are needed before students can connect to the workstation screen. This ensures comprehensive compatibility, and ease of connection for every student, regardless of what make or models of laptop, smartphone or tablet they are using.

Cynap Core-equipped student workstations
Cynap Core-equipped student workstations

WolfVision have always had a reputation for producing quality Visualisers, which we use extensively in our Learning and Teaching Spaces. We are very pleased with the Cynap vSolution MATRIX, and in particular the interface which is very simple to use. We have built up an excellent 3-way relationship between University of Dundee, Streamtec Ltd., and WolfVision with everyone working together to deliver the project."
Douglas McLeod
Learning Spaces Product Engineer, University of Dundee

Commenting further on the WolfVision vSolution MATRIX solution, Douglas McLeod said: “An effective collaboration solution was provided which met the design brief for our requirements. We were also impressed with the developmental roadmap and improvements which will be applied in future via firmware upgrades. Commenting on the installation process he added: “Getting test equipment onto site in advance assisted us with making sure systems were set up on our network correctly.”

A Cynap Core system on every workstation provides an intuitive and easy-to-use collaborative environment for all users, and the customisable browser-based ‘Room View’ of vSolution MATRIX makes it straightforward for teaching staff to moderate on-screen materials using the simple drag and drop interface, which helps create a dynamic learning environment, and enables teaching to monitor quickly and easily, what content is displayed on which screen. Douglas McLeod concluded “My role within the University is to develop and design our learning spaces and the technology we use. We work in partnership with Streamtec our AV integrator to develop meaningful relationships with key companies like TeamMate and WolfVision to enable us to deliver high quality learning and teaching spaces for our students and staff.”


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