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Clevertouch – National Physical Laboratory (NPL)

James Endersby, Head of IT, talks about the installation of Clevertouch Pro screens designed to aid scientific collaborative working.

The National Physical Laboratory, or NPL for short, is the UK’s national measurement institute. It is a world-leading centre of excellence for the measurement of national standards for the UK, working in harmony with the rest of the world.

A research-led facility, it is the home of atomic time measurement and operates the world’s most precise atomic clock, which is accurate to one second every 158 million years! This is the clock that sets and keeps track of Greenwich Mean Time.

Recently, NPL scientists won a major bid by Cancer Research UK in the charity’s £100M inaugural Grand Challenge competition, to create a ‘Google Earth’ view of cancer tumours.

NPL currently boasts a staff of 800 of the world’s brightest scientists and engineers, who are following in the footsteps of some of our most eminent scientific minds.

Alan Turing, the mathematician and computer scientist who cracked the German Enigma code, worked at NPL between 1945 and 1948. Robert Watson-Watt, another celebrated ex-employee, started his work on the design and installation of a chain of radar stations along the east and south coasts of England whilst at NPL, ultimately helping the Royal Air force to win the Battle of Britain. One of the centres first engineers in 1901 was Sir Thomas Stanton who produced pioneering research into the distribution of wind forces on structures such as bridges and roofs, still in use in construction today.

We asked James Endersby, the Head of IT at NPL, to tell us more about the organisation’s recent project to modernise meeting room spaces and AV Technology across the site.

What were the main things you wanted from your new technology?

We have some of the greatest minds working here at NPL and it’s important we give them the technology they need to work collaboratively on projects and help them optimise their time. Giving staff access to a Pro Series Screen in meeting rooms and breakout spaces means that they can plug into a laptop or access files directly from the network. They can run presentations, whiteboard ideas and save and share work instantaneously across multiple mobile devices.

Why did you choose the Pro Series from Clevertouch?

We worked with our AV consultancy, to identify our particular business requirements and present us with a range of interactive meeting room solutions that best fit our needs. We looked at a number of screens including flat panels, interactive touchscreens and whiteboard solutions and we were won over by the Pro Series from Clevertouch.

We could see that the connectivity was far beyond what we’d seen in any other technology. It was also important to us that we had a system that was neat and contained – we didn’t want unsightly cables that people could trip over or extra boxes – we wanted everything built into the package.

The Pro Series has a wireless system that connects to the dongle and an android system that is built into the screen itself without the need to plug into any external devices. It is a nice, neat simple display screen that contains everything and keeps our environment free of cumbersome tech.

How did you find the whole process, from selection to installation?

NPL had a set of specific requirements we wanted from the screens, but also a set budget we needed to work within. The great thing about Clevertouch is that because they are a UK based manufacturer, they have the ability to make changes not only to the hardware package but also to the firmware and software.

Clevertouch were very accommodating and created bespoke panels, making adaptations to the Pro Series Software and Clevershare wireless system to meet our requirements.

We were also able to see the screen in action at Clevertouch’s London showroom, configured to our precise specifications. Personally, I was surprised at how easy it was to get going. Literally, one swipe and all the options were there so you could intuitively see where to go next.

Now the screens have been installed, what’s the feedback?

Everyone really likes the work we’ve done in the meeting rooms. They tell us it’s enhanced their ability to hold productive meetings and they now feel more confident about bringing people in from outside.

The new technology and professional environment reflect the values of NPL, which are ‘keep it simple, whilst delivery technology as required’.

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