Sharp NEC Display Solutions customer installation education

European School of Management and Technology, ESMT

Interactive display technology for a hybrid future

Hybrid teaching, as a forward-looking educational concept, is gaining importance due to the continuing threat of the pandemic. The European School of Management and Technology (ESMT) in Berlin, relies on future-proof, interactive visualisation solutions from Sharp NEC Display Solutions in order to maintain high quality teaching standards for both physical and virtual participants in hybrid seminars and lectures.

ESMT Berlin is the highest ranked business school in Germany and the first and only German business university in the European top 10. It was founded in 2002 and opened in 2006 in the former GDR Council of State building on Schlossplatz in the centre of Berlin.

For around twelve years, PIK AG has been ESMT's partner for media technology equipment across the entire school building. With many years of experience in delivering technology to universities, PIK AG accompanies ESMT on its journey to champion excellence in hybrid teaching.

Bridging the gap between distance and face-to-face teaching

Already well equipped with AV technology, ESMT, like other universities, faced the challenge of converting face-to-face teaching to distance learning during the pandemic. Looking to the future, it should be entirely possible to combine both forms of teaching to deliver the same level of high quality teaching for all.

With these requirements and the request for an extremely short-term planning and implementation phase, the project managers at EMST approached PIK AG in autumn 2020.


Three lecture halls, which differed in structure and equipment, were to receive a technical upgrade including the Audimax accommodating around 200 people with completely flexible seating, and two smaller auditoriums with fixed seating for around 40 to 80 students.

These lecture halls required an audio-visual setup that would ideally connect participants in both the virtual and physical space and enable those responsible to operate the system intuitively. In addition to the appropriate audio technology and a powerful video telephony application, this also required reliable and robust display solutions.

A digital whiteboard solution was required to present content in a dynamic way to both physically present and connected students, seamlessly integrated into the wider AV concept. ESMT, PIK AG and Sharp/NEC worked closely to propose a solution which would provide a good learning experience for virtual and physical participants and to enable active participation in the seminar.


Intuitive and interactive visualisation in hybrid teaching

PIK AG has already worked with Sharp/NEC on previous projects for ESMT, for instance, two NEC 4K laser projectors are used in another classroom at the university. "The first-class, reliable visualisation of Sharp/NEC's display solutions has already convinced us in the past", says Ingo Nolte, CEO of PIK AG. "In our partnership of more than 20 years, Sharp/NEC has always met our high standards of quality as well as service, and this is also the case in our collaboration with ESMT." Throughout the course of the project, three lecture halls at the business school were each equipped with an NEC video wall and an 86-inch NEC touchscreen solution.

The split walls, which are mounted at the back of the rooms, each consist of six 55-inch NEC MultiSync® UN552V screens. With pre-configured calibration options, the video wall was effortless to set up and ready for use immediately. The high-resolution, ultra-slim display modules with frames just 3.5 mm wide virtually eliminate image transitions. Thanks to first-class picture quality with lifelike and homogeneous colours as well as a screen brightness of 500 cd/m², content is easily readable even in bright lighting conditions. Sharp/NEC’s unique thermal management ensures reliability and durability, even in demanding 24/7 usage, meaning ESMT also benefits from a low total cost of ownership.

With NEC MultiSync® C861Q SST touchscreens (86") mounted at the front of the lecture theatre, presenters can enhance their lectures with dynamic visual content, presented to physical and virtual participants in real-time and in UHD resolution. The touch surface works precisely and without touch detection errors at all times, even in strong sunlight. An anti-reflective coating prevents annoying reflections or fingerprints. With the Mosaic Canvas software, presenters have the possibility to make annotations and thus increase interactivity in the lecture hall. The NEC SST precision pen included in the solution provides a natural writing experience. Thanks to intuitive plug-and-play functionality, the touch displays in ESMT's lecture halls can be put into operation quickly. Future-proof connection including an optional slot-in OPS device, low total cost of ownership and durable, high-quality components ensure that the investment in collaboration technology will deliver long term benefits for ESMT.

Reliable cooperation based on partnership

In just three months, PIK AG has implemented a comprehensive overall concept for hybrid teaching at ESMT. With future-proof, intuitive video walls and touchscreens, Sharp/NEC provides first-class visual components that fit seamlessly into this concept. As in past projects, PIK AG is impressed by the service provided by the experts at Sharp/NEC as well as the reliability and quality of the display solutions. ESMT is also completely satisfied with the result. Robert Wilke, Head of IT at ESMT says: "Together with PIK, we have implemented a forward-looking technology for hybrid events that meets the high demands of our customers, staff and faculty."

Image rights: Bettina Ausserhofer