UK’s First Virtual Meeting Space from Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

Saïd Business School has opened its doors to a state-of-the-art classroom that blends the virtual reach with real engagement. Named the Oxford Hub for International Virtual Education (HIVE), the space employs cutting-edge technology and is centered around a high-definition video wall. It is the first of its kind in the UK and only the second installation in the world.

This virtual classroom enables presenters to engage with up to 84 delegates at one time in the same way they do in a physical lecture or class room, with delegates raising hands and asking questions. The delegates’ video feeds displayed on the wall allow the presenter to calibrate their delivery to the attentiveness and levels of engagement based on the visual cues from their audience. The presenter can also address the delegates individually, split them into break out groups and conduct real time polls and surveys with delegates who are able to see, hear and interact with content and one another.

Consisting of 27 x 55” high definition screens in U shape seminar room, the technology is far more sophisticated and feature rich than a traditional video conferencing platform in using robotics, facial recognition technology and high definition projections to create a uniquely immersive learning and teaching experience. This is supported and enhanced by the latest camera technology that can track a presenter around the room and transmit high resolution video.

‘This is an exciting development for our School’s digital agenda’, said Mark Bramwell, Chief Information Officer. ‘The Oxford HIVE will be employed for a variety of uses -from classes to ‘Dragon’s Den’ style pitching competitions.’.

What can you use the Oxford HIVE for?

The Oxford HIVE is an ideal platform to deliver training to a global audience while maintaining close contact with the speakers, facilitators and their attendees. Instead of having many delegates travel a great distance, only the presenter has to make the journey to Oxford to connect with them as if they were in the same room.

This leads to cost savings as well as reducing the environmental impact of organising events.

The Oxford HIVE is also great at presenting pitches or case studies to boards and panels giving more flexibility to all involved.

The facility can also be used to stream presentations given in an intimate setting to a large global audience. This makes it great for things like project or book launches. It makes it possible for the presenters to be truly engaged by a small audience and share their enthusiasm with the public.

For smaller groups it is possible to configure the HIVE for groups of up to 21 or 42 attendees with one or two attendees per screen, making it ideal for interactions with boards and small working groups.
The presenter does not have to learn anything about the virtual technology. They just interact with the delegates as they would in a real classroom / conference room, only with a few digital enhancements.

The participants also have an extremely low barrier to entry with just a few basic control elements to interact remotely with the presenter by speaking, raising hands, writing questions, or participating in polls.

The HIVE’s robotics, facial recognition and real-time video communication tools create an immersive learning and teaching experience that will revolutionise the way meetings and events are held in the future.

Benefits so far…

• The facility has made an estimated saving of 40m tonnes of carbon emissions through reduced delegate air travel
• Around £50,000 in travel time and costs.
• Will transform global sales meetings, calls, business development, training and client engagement

Interested in using this brand new technology? Quote B418 to take advantage of an introductory discount.

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