Campus Amenities

University Installs Microphone Array Ceiling Tiles

Michigan Technological University (MTU) in Houghton, Mich., recently announced that it has outfitted two of its on-campus spaces with ClearOne BMA 360 Beamforming Microphone Array Ceiling Tiles. According to a news release, the technology offers wall-to-wall microphone coverage in large spaces, ensuring that each student in the space—and at home—can fully engage with the material or conversation at hand. The solution has been installed in a lecture hall and a multi-purpose space in the campus library.

“Digital connectivity and communications is central to virtually every discipline we teach at MTU today, and our students both expect and deserve class-leading tools that optimize efficiency and improve educational experiences,” said David Chard, MTU’s Director of Media Technology Services. “The ClearOne BMA 360 ceiling tile microphones now being used in the DOW 642 lecture hall and the library’s East Reading Room immediately transformed how each space could be used by enabling clear, crisp audio pickup of any voice in any seat through the units’ intelligent Voice Lift capabilities.”

Whether the space in question is being used for lectures, meetings or remote collaborations, the solution helps every voice in the room be heard. The units’ Voice Lift capabilities eliminate the need to pass around a microphone or for speakers to move to another part of the room before speaking. Microphone pickup is played back in real time, ensuring full audio quality for those both in and out of the room.

“We only install technologies that provide reliable experiences for users, and after years of success with various ClearOne products, we know these solutions are both easy to use and deliver industry-leading capabilities and performance,” Chard said. “During semesters impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, we implemented a host of ClearOne’s Chat 170 speakerphones in various smaller rooms, so both our students and faculty are aware of the brand’s status and usability.”

A news release states that the university community recorded and viewed more than 225,000 hours’ worth of instruction during the duration of the pandemic thus far. Reliable audio technology reduces the need for student tech associates’ assistance before and after class, as well as makes sure that remote learners aren’t missing anything going on in the classroom.

“Michigan Technological University’s installations present a true case study of what can be accomplished when institutions leverage ClearOne’s class-leading technologies and devices to support collaboration and communication in any size space,” said Zee Hakimoglu, ClearOne Chair and CEO. “It’s our hope that colleges, universities, corporations and businesses of all needs recognize the importance and value of reliable, helpful technologies that improve outcomes and support better utilization of space.”

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].