Category Featured Case Studies / Projects

Optoma PK102 Lights Up Western Africa

It was March and the temperatures in Senegal hovered around 120 degrees. Dr. Mitch Hamilton, Pastor of the Mississippi Avenue Baptist Church in Aurora, CO., braved the heat along with his team. They were in Senegal’s Ferlo region, researching the culture and the people.

West Africans are known for their hospitality. It was not long before a shepherd invited the pastor’s group to his “windy” (temporary village) a few kilometers out in the bush.

Villagers in Western Africa

The village was primitive, no water, electricity or permanent structures. Many of the children had never seen a “toubob” (Westerner). The village elder told Pastor Hamilton that those who had seen “toubobs” before were often afraid because the tourists took so many pictures.

“I shared that American culture was a visual culture,” Pastor Hamilton said. “We learn through pictures, videos, television, etc. The elder shared that in his culture, they learn through oral stories.”

As they continued to talk, the elder started to understand why “toubobs” took so many pictures. Dr. Hamilton explained that photographs are a way of communicating special experiences, like a trip to Africa.

To demonstrate the way Westerners communicate with images, Dr. Hamilton asked if the elder and his village would like to see a video documenting a previous group’s visit to the region. The elder agreed and invited Pastor Hamilton to return that evening after dusk.

But how do you show a film to a West African village with no electricity?

Laptops can’t withstand the desert’s heat and dust. Small DVD players could only be watched by a few at a time.

Villagers watch a video on the Optoma PK102

Fortunately, Dr. Hamilton had discovered the Optoma PK102 Pico Pocket Projector a few months before visiting the Ferlo. He asked Ron Schall, AVI-SPL Denver for help finding one to bring along.

“I was intrigued and immediately thought of our upcoming trip to West Africa. The size and apparent durability of the projector seemed to be a perfect match,” Pastor Hamilton said.

That night, Pastor Hamilton and his crew returned to the village after sunset. They draped a sheet over the door of a grass hut, powered up the Optoma PK102 and showed the video to the villagers. External speakers provided the sound.

“It was a big deal and the entire village turned out,” Pastor Hamilton recalled. “Everything worked great and the folks were fascinated. I don’t think that they were shocked by the technology, but it was certainly new to them.”

At 11 lumens, the PK102 easily overpowered the fire in the center of the village’s compound, the only ambient light.

“This kind of technology is absolutely revolutionary to our efforts around the world,” Pastor Hamilton said. “If these things can handle the beating they will take in deserts and jungles of third world countries, they will become invaluable to those in the field.”

Pastor Hamilton is working to get more Pico Projectors for his teams working throughout Africa and Central America.

SMART Boards Prove Effective for Academy at the Farm’s Inclusive Curriculum

“We thought the teachers would really love it. Well, the problem is that they did!” — Ray Polk, Instructional Technology Coordinator, Academy at the Farm

Based in Dade City, Fla., Academy at the Farm is a unique K-8 charter school that serves nearly 400 students a year. Today, this A-rated school features SMART’s 680i interactive white boards and Elmo document cameras in nearly every classroom. “This technology has helped increased our kids’ enthusiasm, as well as that of our teachers,” says Director Mike Rom.

A Dramatic Difference
The SMART Notebook software has proven invaluable to the Academy teachers, from watching eager kindergartners perfect their penmanship to using the innovative programs to increase algebra skills among eighth graders. The school has also improved overall communications, using the SMART Boards to stream morning and afternoon announcements, and even have their students conduct live chats with Congresswoman Ginny Brown-Waite.

Tell us, how has SMART Technology helped improve the level of excitement and interactivity at your school?

AVI-SPL’s NYC Hall Situation Room Featured on CBS Evening News

In coverage of the recent bomb threat to New York City, anchor Katie Couric interviews Mayor Bloomberg in the high-tech Situation Room. AVI-SPL’s critical control room solution highlights advanced videoconferencing technology, an innovative 1 x 2 video wall, 46″ LCD displays and highly-secure communications for rapid decision making.

From more details on the Situation Room’s technology, including the Crestron programming and IP-based systems, click here.

Launching HD Projection, Advanced Surround Sound at Ringling

Located in Sarasota, Fla., Ringling College of Art and Design is recognized as one of the country’s most innovative institutes for visual arts and technology. In the development of their first fully LEED Silver-certified academic building, school administrators sought state-of-the-art systems to lead their next generation of graphic artists.

A strong emphasis would be placed on the use of high-definition (HD) audiovisual systems in conjunction with digital signals. In the video below, Ringling’s assistant VP/director of facilities, Jeff Poleshek, and AVI-SPL’s sales engineer, Jamie Knoop, take us on a tour of the latest advancements in HD projection, digital surround, control panel technology and more.

Click here to learn more about this project.

View Digital Signage, Advanced Projection Systems at USF’s Marshall Student Center

AVI-SPL recently completed an exciting new installation for the University of South Florida’s revamped student union. Today, the four-story Marshall Student Center stands as an innovative foundation for presentation technologies, including digital signage applications, enhanced speaker systems and the latest in projection and control system advancements.

In the video below, USF’s Assistant Director of Operations, Jennifer Hernandez, takes us on a tour of several installation areas, including their 1,100-seat ballroom, meeting rooms, 700-seat auditorium and senate chambers.

“The changes implemented have provided that ‘wow’ factor, which is what students expect in a facility of this nature,” says Hernandez. “Everything is easy to use, with cutting-edge technology available at the simple touch of a button.”

In developing this project, AVI-SPL received a great amount of collaborative support from Beck construction, TLC Design and Multimedia LED. To learn more about this case study, please click here.