InfoComm Tour Takes Higher-Ed Professionals Back to School

Three Nanolumens dvLED video walls highlight the new AED building, with the largest in its new Flexatorium.
(Image credit: InfoComm 2024 Daily | Wayne Cavadi)

Tuesday morning, higher-education AV and IT professionals and integrators were taken back to school on a tour of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ new UNLV Advanced Engineering Building and its new Flexatorium and Maker Spaces.

Complete in February 2024, the building is the newest of four interconnected engineering buildings on campus—the largest growing major at UNLV. Located next to a 10,000-spot parking deck, the area is a main thoroughfare on the North side of campus, and having something that grabs the attention of students, teachers, and visitors was a must. “It’s Vegas, right?” said Frank Alaimo, manager of classroom technology at UNLV. “On the strip you have got signage everywhere. This was a prime spot for it.” A 39-outdoor-pitch Nanolumens video wall, one of three in the new building, adorns the outside of the building.

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The building itself is more of a research-based showcase of innovation and not necessarily designed for teaching. However, once inside, the first stop on the tour was the lone general-purpose classroom in the building. It was designed in UNLV’s renowned RebelFlex style, what Alaimo called “the Swiss Army knives of classrooms,” with ceiling microphones and cameras in the back and Zoom videoconferencing capabilities. Nearly 70 percent of classrooms on the UNLV campus are now following the RebelFlex model, with hopes of more to follow.

The tour continued to a massive Maker Space, which had yet another Nanolumens dvLED wall, huddle rooms, and workstations for students to work with space for presentations or smaller events to be held. A Crestron house, UNLV is powered by DM NVX technology—everywhere from the Maker Space to the RebelFlex classroom and auditorium is wired generally the same, with 95 percent of the features similar from room to room for ease of control throughout all of UNLV’s buildings.

The final stop was the Flexatorium. The 145-capacity venue is a lecture hall for classes by day and a high-tech event space by night. As the name suggests, the space was designed with flexibility and adaptability in mind: There are three sections of tiered rows that can moved back to allow for more open space for events and presentations. A massive 32x9 Nanolumens dvLED video wall—that can be single or double view, or simply digital signage or an already prepared video—stole the show, controlled from a lectern that had a curved Dell display screen mirroring the wall, so the presenter never needs to turn around. The JBL speakers on the wall added to the experience, providing intense sound. However, Alaimo was sure to point out that the ceiling speakers and wall speakers were designed for different uses: the ceiling for speech and the JBL speakers to provide audio those in attendance can feel. Unlike the RebelFlex classroom, this was not designed to be a videoconferencing space, but a lecture-capture event space, so there is no need for ceiling mics.

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It is clear from its hybrid RebelFlex model to its mind-blowing Dolby Atmos immersive theater and now the Flexatorium, UNLV stays on the cutting edge of technology and innovation.

Wayne Cavadi
Senior Content Manager

Wayne Cavadi is the senior content manager of Systems Contractor News. Prior to taking a leap into the Pro AV industry, Wayne was a journalist and content lead for Turner Sports, covering the NCAA, PGA, and Major and Minor League Baseball. His work has been featured in a variety of national publications including Bleacher Report, Lindy's Magazine, and The Advocate. When not writing, he hosts the DII Nation Podcast, committed to furthering the stories and careers of NCAA Division II student-athletes. Follow his work on Twitter at @WayneCavadi_2 or the SCN mag Twitter page.