Posts in Case Study

How super-fast mobile broadband could change our world

October 6th, 2017 Posted by Case Study, News, Tech Talk

What impact could 5G – the new high-speed mobile technology being trialled around the world – have on the way we work and play?

Swedish transport company Scania believes lorries could use far less fuel if they drove much closer together, controlled by wirelessly communicating onboard computers.

But to prevent these “platooning” lorries crashing into each other, you’d better be sure your communications are fast and reliable. So Scania is working with Ericsson on trials of the new 5G (fifth generation) wireless broadband technology, due to be rolled out globally in 2020.

It promises much faster data transfer speeds, greater coverage and more efficient use of the spectrum bandwidth.

“Platooning works very well with wi-fi, but in dense traffic situations with many vehicles communicating, 5G is designed to offer more reliable communication,” says Andreas Hoglund, Scania’s senior engineer for intelligent transport systems. This is because 5G direct communication is designed to handle fast moving objects and congestion more efficiently, he says.

“Faster communication will make it possible to reduce the distance between vehicles in the platoon, which might further reduce the air drag and give positive effects on fuel consumption,” he explains.

This could help create “a more efficient, greener” world.

5G is designed to accommodate the growing number of devices reliant on a mobile internet connection – from fridges to cars – and is 10 times faster than the highest speed 4G can manage.

“It will enable a lot of applications which were unthinkable before,” says Mischa Dohler, professor in wireless communications at King’s College London.

South Korea has plans to implement 5G for the Winter Olympics in February 2018, giving visitors access to virtual reality (VR) content on their mobiles.

 

 

The Minack

The Minack – reaching the individual amongst the crowd

December 19th, 2016 Posted by Case Study, hospitality

The Minack Theatre is Cornwall’s world famous open-air theatre. Created in 1931-1932 by the Rowena Cade and her gardener Billy Rawlins, it is a thriving Cornish visitor hotspot.

Visited by thousands of tourists and locals alike every year, the Exhibition Centre tells the fascinating story of the Minack in words, pictures and film.

The Minack

The Exhibition Centre

Microcomms were approached by Theatre Manager, Phil Jackson, to help solve an audio problem inside the Exhibition Centre. The space is not huge and the exhibitions are interconnected. One of the main draws is a wonderful short film about the making of the Theatre and the life of Rowena Cade – this is played on a loop with full speaker surround sound. However, in other parts of the exhibition are other films and clips which also carry their own sound sequence.

The challenge Phil presented us with is the main film can be heard across the centre, so how to avoid a soundclash without providing headphones for the smaller clips? Our Audio Visual Director, John Darling, came up with the solution of interactive screens with tight directional sound speakers. These provide an area of perfect sound directly next to the screen. The soundtrack is only heard when standing close and doesn’t flow out into the wider exhibition space – meaning you can speak directly to the individual amongst the crowd.

Microcomms & Indivior

December 16th, 2016 Posted by Case Study

Indivior
Indivior began with the goal of addressing the lack of treatment for the worldwide problem of addiction. In 1994, RB established the Buprenorphine Business Group, to which Indivior can trace its history of over 20 years. The buprenorphine Business Group focused on developing buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid dependence. Even though it was an area of business that was unproven, the company believed they could make a measurable difference in the lives of patients all over the world. In December 2014 the business demerged changing from Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals Inc. from RB Group; listing as Indivior PLC on London Stock Exchange.

Microcomms work closely with Reckitt Benckiser as a group and it was a natural progression to remain involved with Indivior. In September 2016 we helped refurbish their offices at Bath Road in Slough – installing new WiFi systems throughout.

 

Paul Ainsworth

Microcomms & Paul Ainsworth

December 14th, 2016 Posted by Case Study, hospitality

Described by the Michelin Guide as ‘A delightful Georgian townhouse on a harbour backwater, with a relaxed, buzzy vibe; run by a friendly, enthusiastic team. Seasonal modern cooking displays originality and the occasional playful element, and textures and flavours are bold yet refined.‘  – this is Paul Ainsworth at Number 6 in Padstow.

We are very happy to have been involved with Number 6 since it’s incarnation in 2012. The building the restaurant is housed in was being completely refurbished, unfortunately, the incumbent network company let down Paul Ainsworth’s team. Microcomms stepped in to rescue the project’s technical infrastructure – we’ve been working together ever since!

Paul Ainsworth

Padstow Townhouse

Paul_Ainsworth

Rojano’s in the Square

Padstow is a lovely, seaside town with old Cornish buildings. Walls are never straight, Internet can be patchy and cable-crazy networks often look like they were built in the 1960’s. Microcomms are helping to bring the Paul Ainsworth group’s buildings forward in time with new state-of-the-art networking and cabling, perfect WiFi and strong telephony services. Working closely with supremo General Manager, Alex Tozer, we are updating the infrastructure across Number 6, the gorgeous Padstow Townhouse and the Italian eatery Rojanos in the Square.

We’re working closely with Alex on both customer-facing challenges and the behind-the-scenes office requirements. As well as providing great client WiFi and telephony it is also vital that the three Padstow sites are able to interact easily, share communications and operate using the same systems for continuity.

If you get the chance to visit Cornwall – don’t miss these great places to eat and stay!

The Internet of Things and why it matters to you

November 15th, 2016 Posted by Case Study, Subjects, Tech Talk

The Internet of Things (IoT) is considered to be the next evolution of the Internet. Predictions expect IoT to have five to 10 times the impact on society as the Internet, with over 50 billion devices set to join the IoT landscape by 2020.

What exactly is the IoT? At it’s core is a really simple explanation – it’s about connecting devices over the internet, letting them talk to us, applications, and each other. The most common every-day application in the UK at the moment is within home heating and energy use – think Smart Meters. They have clever functions that let you turn on heating remotely, set it to turn down the temperature if it’s a sunny day, or even turn off when there’s no-one home. Some can tell the latter with motion-sensing cameras, or simply by seeing that your smartphone (and therefore you) has left the premises. If you use a FitBit or similar device you are already interacting with IoT technology.

Here is a great infographic which explains things clearly.

Do you need to think about it for your business?

The short answer is yes. You may not be thinking about smart devices, but you could be thinking about sensors. These tiny devices can monitor areas of your business various ways, think:

Communication – Almost every company has a class of assets it could track. GPS-enabled assets can communicate their current location and movement. Location is important for items that move, such as trucks, but it’s also applicable for locating items and people within an organization. You may have employees that go to meetings, this way you can monitor efficiencies.

Control and Automation – In many cases, a business or consumer will be able to remotely control a device. For example, a business can remotely turn on or shut down a specific piece of equipment or adjust the temperature in a climate-controlled environment. Meanwhile, a consumer can use IoT to unlock their car or start the washing machine. Once a performance baseline has been established, a process can send alerts for anomalies and possibly deliver an automated response. For example, if the brake pads on a truck are about to fail, it can prompt the company to take the vehicle out of service and automatically schedule maintenance.

Cost Savings – many companies will adopt IoT to save money. Measurement provides actual performance data, instead of estimates. Businesses lose money when equipment fails. With new sensor information, IoT can help a company save money by minimizing equipment failure and allowing the business to perform planned maintenance. Sensors can also measure items, such as driving behavior and speed, to reduce fuel expense and wear and tear on consumables.

iot-ready

Are you IoT ready?

Talk to Microcomms about littleBits –  a platform of easy-to-use electronic building blocks that empower you to invent anything, from your own remote controlled car, to a smart home device. The Bits snap together with magnets, no soldering, no wiring, no programming needed. Originally aimed at Schools, the technology is now being adopted by designers, leading institutions and business. Using the simple technology to illustrate concepts and new design ideas. Let us see how it could help you.

 

 

 

 

 

School Bell Demo

Ringing the changes: Hybrid School Bell Demo

October 17th, 2016 Posted by A/V, Case Study, education, Industry Focus, Latest News, News, Subjects

John Darling, Microcomms Director of AV and Joslyn Bellamy, Business Development Manager had the pleasure of demonstrating a new bell system at a leading Independent School in Truro last week.

Barix Extream School Bell Utilising Barix Exstreamer technology the system is scalable, robust and exceptionally good value. Originally the School had been looking at IP speakers for their bell system, however John Darling was able to explain the pitfalls of IP technology and the benefits of the Barix system.

IP Systems versus Hybrid Systems

– IP Speakers are expensive, individual units cost £200 and each speaker has to be wired back to an amplifier.

– The technology we recommend is a hybrid system utilising 100v line standard High Impedence Speakers and the site wide networked audio distribution offered by the Barix Unit. A concurrent network is created with speakers ‘daisy-chained’ together removing the need for wiring to run from each speaker back to an amplifier.

– Standard speakers also offer a school friendly replacement price with individual units running from £20-£30, taking away the financial penalty if a child/member of staff accidently damage a speaker.

Unusual school bell

School’s Out!

– We recommend Bellcommander software which interfaces with end users through an incredibly simple Windows based calendar system which uses MP3s for sound. It comes with several standard bell sounds but can be customised to your own preference (Imagine ending term to the refrain of ‘Schools Out’ by Alice Cooper!)

– Bellcommander enables up to 200 bells a day and offers the ability to link with school PA systems and can be used for playing ambient sound as well as bells – ideal for a parent’s evening with soothing classical music being played in the background.

So….what did the client think?

The School’s Senior Management team were really impressed with the demo – praising the simple format of the user interface and the scalability of the overall network concept.

If you’d like to talk to us about School Bells or any other AV needs please do drop us a line!
Joslyn.bellamy@microcomms.co.uk / john.darling@microcomms.co.uk

MICROCOMMS AND EDEN PROJECT GET SOCIAL WITH WIFI

September 8th, 2016 Posted by Case Study, hospitality, News, Wireless

Over the summer, we installed a fast social WiFi portal from Airangel at The Eden Project. The innovative Social WiFi platform enables organisations to engage directly with visitors whilst they’re on-premises, and collects valuable marketing data and contact details, allowing ongoing communications and promotion of the venue’s events long after they leave.

Social wifi from AirAngel

The MyAirangel cloud based management platform also allows the Eden Project to easily manage their public WiFi network and view detailed visitor and usage reports.

The WiFi was first put to the test when legends Duran Duran headlined the finale of BBC Music Day at the Eden Project. They were joined by special guests Nile Rodgers, Izzy Bizu and Laura Mvula. The concert was broadcast live on BBC Radio 2.

During the 2016 Eden Sessions fans were confidently able to share photos, videos and chatter from the gigs. The Sessions season culminated with a sell-out concert for British female chart-topper Jess Glynne. With the event packed to capacity, more than 1 in 8 visitors were online at any one time.

Nick Argent, head of ICT at Eden said, “Whilst social WiFi is a technology product, the real value comes as a marketing tool. We’ve had a great response, with more than 15,000 users registering on the Airangel portal during the Eden Sessions concert season (June/July 2016). Remarkably 16% of visitors opted to use their Social Media accounts to login. This gives us an additional group of digitally engaged followers who are connected to future events and promotions.”

Visitors who logged onto the WiFi were directed through the Eden Facebook page meaning an increase in page likes for the venue. The Eden Project sees high level of engagement on Facebook and was really pleased with the simple rollout and success of the system at its first concert.