LifeSize®, the high definition video communications company, kynamatrix Research Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to science, education and innovation via the promotion of interactive communications, and GBH Communications, a provider of ConferenceIP solutions, today announced they have joined forces to deliver high definition video communications to six universities throughout the United States. Called “ResearcHDiscovery,” the project will connect all participating universities to foster collaborative relationships and research.
To launch the project, a special event will commence at Stanford University’s Center for Design Research at 11am PT today where representatives from LifeSize, kynamatrix and GBH will conduct ribbon cutting ceremonies with each university over LifeSize high definition video communications systems. In addition to Stanford, participants include Carnegie Mellon University, Georgia Tech, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of Washington.
“The ResearcHDiscovery project represents the launch of a new era in collaborative research, opening virtual windows between university labs to discover new ideas as boundaries are eliminated,” said Alyce Hoggan, executive director and project founder at kynamatrix Research Network. “We foresee the project adding value to academic research across the nation, reducing the need for travel and saving energy, and we are immensely grateful to LifeSize and GBH for their generous support in bringing our vision to reality.”
As part of the ResearcHDiscovery project, each university lab was granted a high definition video communications system from LifeSize, installation services from GBH and a HD display from kynamatrix. Every LifeSize system includes a high definition codec with embedded four-way multipoint capabilities, a high definition camera, an integrated audio conference phone and a wireless remote control.
“The ability for people in different locations to communicate via high definition video communications is testimony to how technology can have a positive impact on knowledge sharing,” said Craig Malloy, CEO of LifeSize. “We are honored to be part of this innovative project and by working together with kynamatrix and GBH, we will bring advancements to the world of academics that previous videoconferencing systems simply could not achieve.”
According to Von Bedikian, president of GBH Communications, “The ResearcHDiscovery project is one of the most exciting explorations of the potential of high definition videoconferencing technology underway today. As the leader in this field, we see our donation to this innovative program as both an obligation and an opportunity. We are honored to be partnered with both kynamatrix and LifeSize in forwarding collaboration between these leading universities.”
LifeSize’s high quality video and audio experience will offer a transparent environment for connecting these universities to regularly brainstorm, develop and review inter-university graduate programs, and manage relationships with students and advisors while never leaving campus. Research labs can also take advantage of the innovative systems to reduce travel costs, as well as study the behavioral and social aspects of high definition video communications.
The participating universities recognize the significance of the project:
Head of the School of Design, Dan Boyarski at Carnegie Mellon University said, “This gift will be one more tool for us to explore as we collaborate across disciplines and distances. We believe that powerful display devices will help us “really see” what is being talked about, and we plan to study the effects of this tool on our design process and the quality of collaboration. We’re very excited!”
Associate Professor, Gregory D. Abowd from the School of Interactive Computing and GVU Center from Georgia Tech acknowledged, “This equipment will help to maintain active collaborations across several major universities and provide opportunities to establish more meaningful interactions with colleagues with similar research perspectives. We also expect it to provide connection between our student populations as well.”
Professor Daniel Schodek from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University stated, “Globalization has become common in design practice in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, urban design and planning. Participants from all over the world interact on a daily basis to produce and implement visions for our buildings, landscapes and cities. These practices demand new ways of interacting among the many participants involved. We look forward to experimenting with the kynamatrix Research Network as a way of introducing our students to the emergent digital tools and environments that can best support these new practice modes.”
Professor William J. Mitchell from the MIT Media Lab said, “This system will be instrumental in connecting with our collaborators throughout the world. Design research is often highly visual, spatial, and inspired by compelling and iconic imagery. Thus this system will aid in the exchange of ideas, both verbal and graphic. The use of high-resolution technologies will make international collaborations only a problem of aligning schedules and not of the vividness of the ideas.”
Professor Larry Leifer from the Center for Design Research at Stanford Universitystated, “We plan to use this system for graduate education and doctoral research. For education, student-teams working in globally distributed design courses are expected to benefit from the use of full scale, high definition, and communication media. The expected impact is increased creative interaction and precision innovation by these teams as they work on corporate sponsored projects.”
He continued, “For research, distributed design team activity will be recorded and used as sample data in several ongoing design-thinking research projects aiming at understanding the complex factors that affect the quality of team interaction and its impact on innovation. The improved fidelity of the system will provide us with recordings of much higher quality than we have been able to record in the past. In turn, the system is expected to improve communication between distributed researchers in the academic network. The net impact should be to accelerate our understanding and management of design innovation.”
Chair of the Department of Technical Communication, Judy Ramey with the University of Washington stated, “This gift will make a very important difference in the development of collaborative research in the department! We very much appreciate it.”
Kynamatrix Research Network is a volunteer-operated nonprofit scientific research organization founded in 2004 with a mission to promote innovation, research, and scholarship in the area of interactive communications and multidisciplinary collaboration. As a registered 501(c)(3) charity, donations to kynamatrix are deductible under IRC 170. For more information about kynamatrix's mission and accomplishments, and to join efforts, visit www.kynamatrix.org.
GBH Communications is the most comprehensive provider of conferencing solutions, products, and services to businesses, government, and educational institutions nationwide. GBH is the only company that offers its customers all of the key ConferenceIP elements, including: VoIP; video conferencing; audio conferencing; MCUs/gateways; communications endpoints; telephone headsets; IP PBX; professional services; and technical services. Founded in 1983, GBH Communications has installed thousands of systems throughout the U.S. GBH supports its customers with a nationwide sales force located in fourteen branch offices coast-to-coast, in-house factory-certified technicians, factory-authorized refurbishment facilities and unmatched TechShield support programs. More information on GBH can be found at www.gbh.com or call us at 1-800-222-5424.