The AV responsibles of the University of Kiel went looking for a system to transmit audio signals from one lecture theatre to another. Another aim was to use the new system to remove barriers for students and guests with a hearing disability.
The University of Kiel opted for Sennheiser’s MobileConnect system. It is easy to integrate into the existing Wifi and comes with an app that students can use on their own mobile device to receive the audio signal via headphones, their hearing aids or cochlea implants.
In 2015, Kiel’s Christian-Albrechts-University hosted the Federal Conference of German University Chancellors, a big event causing its organizers and planning team quite a headache, as Stefan Paeth, a specialist for event technology, recalls: “We were sure that one lecture theatre would not be enough. So we urgently needed a system that would allow us to flawlessly transmit the audio signal to the neighbouring room.“ Seeking advice, he approached vizacon, a media company the event and facility management team has cooperated with for years. Considering the long-term goal of more accessibility for the deaf and hard of hearing among students and visitors, the specialists recommended installing Sennheiser’s MobileConnect System as part of the complete renovation of the lecture theatres.
The two ConnectStations were quickly and easily installed and integrated into the campus-wide open wifi, which allows up to 200 users to access the system at the same time without a password. After a quick download of the free app anyone can receive the speaker’s voice on their own mobile device and then on their hearing aid, headphones or cochlea implant. The app can be used both with android and iOS. Stefan Paeth is enthusiastic about the user experience: “Architects, technicians, facility managers – we are all positively surprised by the app. It is so simple and intuitive in its use, and everyone can perfectly adjust the sound to their own needs!“
MobileConnect has conquered other lecture theatres Following the successful use of MobileConnect in one building, the university commissioned the company media in motion with installing two more MobileConnect stations in the Audimax, which houses 9 lecture theatres equipped with 2000 seats in total. Mr Paeth talks about how it has now become much easier for students with a hearing disability to follow lectures: “In the past, these students had to sit in the front row and close to the loud-speakers. Some of them had to resort to lip-reading. Now they have a well-functioning audio transmission system that helps them understand everything. We always promote MobileConnect for other events held in our lecture theatres. For example, the organisers of the German Nature Conservation Day are already very keen on communicating its advantages to their participants.”
Several years of experience with Sennheiser products … For Mr Paeth and his colleagues, Sennheiser products are an integral part of every day university life. “We’ve been working with Sennheiser mikes for years. We have goose neck mikes for our lecterns and we use several different wireless systems from the 100 and 300 series, whether in combination with handheld mikes, headsets or clip-on mikes. The quality never ceases to amaze us.” The university has recently benefitted from other advantages as well.
Switching to the modern license-free 1.9 GHz Speechline Series for new purchases has helped save money that would otherwise have been spent on frequency license fees.
Currently there are three major building sites on the Kiel University campus. MobileConnect figures quite prominently on the technicians’ and planners’ wishlist for these new facilities, and Stefan Paeth is definitely a fan: “I would wholeheartedly recommend MobileConnect to any other institution with similar needs. We love working with it.”