Driving authentic interaction.

Xilica® creates collaboration products that help unlock the power of human connection. Built on decades of reimagining how people use technology, Xilica’s solutions bridge the distance between individuals, teams, ideas and organisations — unleashing the power of understanding to transform business and society for the better. Through our focus on the enterprise, education and government markets, Xilica and its partners touch the daily lives of people in more than 100 countries.

University of the Western Cape

UWC's in-house AV department ingeniously create 'virtual overflow' classrooms to support hybrid.

Solution Benefits

  • Linking multiple classrooms over Dante networked audio, UWC’s AV team leveraged pre-existing Ethernet network to facilitate the rapid switch to hybrid learning.
  • Xilica HearClear AEC eliminates echo, noise and distraction during remote classes.
  • Local mounting format removes the need for in-room racking and keeps intrusion of technology to a minimum.

University of the Western Cape is one of South Africa’s leading higher-education providers, with campuses around Cape Town and an enrollment of more than 23,000 students across arts and humanities, health, economics, education, law and natural sciences. As class sizes grew, the physical campus wasn’t always able to meet the expanded demand from students. UWC Audio Visual Services created a dual-classroom functionality, with content from the lecture theatre shown bi-directionally across multiple overflow rooms.

Challenge

UWS’ campus experienced a fast-growing student body over just a few years. Architecturally stunning and historic learning spaces weren’t always able to cope with the increased numbers, leaving some classrooms tight or at capacity. As social distancing became increasingly important during the Coronavirus pandemic, an emphasis on providing greater space for students came to the fore. 

Solution

UWC Audio Visual Services, the in-house AV technology management group at University of the Western Cape, devised an ingenuous solution to facilitate overflow space. With high-quality audio and video systems in their primary teaching spaces, content could be bi-directionally relayed between rooms. This enables lecturers to communicate interactively with students in the local room and remote facilities in the same building, or even across campus.

All students receive the same learning experience, regardless of their location. Xilica Solaro QR1 micro-format processors sit in each classroom, providing HearClear acoustic echo cancellation and noise reduction that keeps participants sounding like they’re in the same space.

Integration with leading soft-codec platforms enables quick ramp-up time and mute status sync as required. Microphones distributed around the classrooms pick up lecturer voices, as well as students with questions, comments and input to add. The Solaro QR1’s small size meant mounting in discreet locations without requiring the installation of an equipment rack was a significant benefit. Exceptional audio could be integrated into the room with little disruption and no-need for a dedicated space.

Impact

From two classrooms linked together to twelve, UWC’s Audio Visual Services team met the mark on this challenging project. By deploying cost-effective, high quality audio products that require minimal in-room space, they made the best use of valuable real estate and delivered a great experience for students and teachers. HearClear AEC technology brought people together by removing artefacts and noise that would normally impede frictionless communication and facilitated many more students than originally possible to get a great education – even in the midst of a global pandemic.

Products used for this solution

Solaro Series

Modular IO, networked AV and exceptional control: reduce noise and enhance your collaboration space with Solaro Series: FR1, FR1-D, QR1.

About 

University of the Western Cape

University of the Western Cape is one of South Africa’s leading higher-education providers, with campuses around Cape Town and an enrolment of more than 23,000 students across arts and humanities, health, economics, education, law and natural sciences.

About Xilica

Xilica® creates collaboration products that help unlock the power of human connection. Built on decades of reimagining how people use technology, Xilica’s solutions bridge the distance between individuals, teams, ideas and organisations — unleashing the power of understanding to transform business and society for the better. Through our focus on the enterprise, education and government markets, Xilica and its partners touch the daily lives of people in more than 100 countries.