Press Release

Six U.S. Universities Commence Collaborating Through 2-way HD

2007.04.24  "ResearcHDiscovery" Project Fosters Collaborative Relationships, Research, and Innovation

REDMOND, Wash.--Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, and University of Washington commenced collaborating face-to-face today via 2-way high-definition videoconferencing.

The 2-way high definition video and audio experience opens virtual windows between university labs connecting professors, researchers, and colleagues. They can 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 communication.

As part of the ResearcHDiscovery project, each university lab was granted a LifeSize Communications high definition video communication system, installation services from GBH Communications, and a 37" Polaroid HD display.

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 University stated, "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."

To launch the project today, representatives from kynamatrix, LifeSize, and GBH conducted ribbon cutting ceremonies with each university via the gifted systems.

"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."

"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."

About kynamatrix
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 communication and multidisciplinary collaboration. As a registered 501(c)(3), donations to kynamatrix are deductible under IRC 170.

About GBH
Established in 1986, GBH Communications is the leading provider of end-to-end solutions that include video and audio endpoints, hardware based gateways and bridges, and network transport. For additional information, visit www.gbh.com.

About LifeSize
LifeSize® is the first company to develop and deliver high definition video communications products. Founded in 2003 by industry veterans, LifeSize's award winning solutions combine exceptional quality, user simplicity and administrator manageability to make video communications a productive, true-to-life experience. LifeSize is headquartered in Austin, TX with subsidiaries in Europe and Asia Pacific, and a network of channel partners in more than 30 countries. For additional information visit www.lifesize.com


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