A Review of VIVI in Education

VIVI is a wireless presentation solution, a simple blue box connected to a Data Projector or TV which allows a teacher or presenter to roam about the classroom and remain wirelessly connected to the TV or Data Projector.

Vivi is a wireless presentation solution, with features quite similar to ‘AirPlay’ on an Apple TV, with a few extra features thrown in for good measure.

Background: We had endless trouble with our Apple TVs in 2014 and 2015, you can read about our Apple TV Experience (nightmare) here and if I ever work out what the issue was I will gladly share the solution on this Blog – until then, believe me Apple TV’s don’t work in an education environment.

Questions about VIVI

VIVI make some bold statements on their website so I’ll evaluate VIVI using the same questions they present on their website http://vivi.io – I will answer each question by presenting my own experiences with VIVI.

Does it offer true screen mirroring?

VIVI marketing: Vivi offers true full screen mirroring.

  • It transfers exactly what is on your screen to a data projector.
  • It appears to support higher resolutions better than Apple TV.

How reliable is the solution’s wireless connectivity?

VIVI marketing: We won’t bore you with technical details, other than to say our purpose-built technology is as reliable as it gets.

Is it easy to use? Really easy to use?

VIVI marketing: Vivi is the simplest wireless presenting software on the market and requires no user training.

I proved this with the welcome email I sent out. (please see below).

The whole point about choosing VIVI is that it should be easy enough to use without further instruction, so please give it a go.  

On the first day I sent out a technician to assist staff.  It seemed fitting that Ryan should be available to ensure it works as expected.

Does it stream smooth, high quality video?

VIVI marketing: Vivi plays videos directly over the wired network like a media player – freeing up your mobile device for other tasks.

Direct Play from YouTube.com – We love this feature, when you play YouTube videos it plays directly from YouTube using the wired network.  It doesn’t get much better than that.

Not sure how other networks function, may need to test this further.

Can it capture and save screens for future reference?

VIVI marketing: Vivi is one of the few solutions on the market that does.

How easy will it be to introduce and integrate into your school or workplace?

VIVI marketing: But because Vivi supports AD/SAML single sign on, your staff will be set to go from day one – using their existing usernames and passwords.

Is it constantly evolving?

VIVI marketing: And we never stop listening to what our customers want.

How easy is it to maintain?

VIVI marketing: Vivi’s cloud-based administration portal makes it easy to manage your Vivi fleet, rename units, perform bulk updates – and assess the health of all units in an instant.

Why choose VIVI?

I was at AIS ICT Conference in Canberra 2017 listening in on a discussion about Wireless Projection, various schools were offering up suggestions and the conversation weighed in on quality, performance and price.

I installed VIVI in L8, a large teaching space with 8 x 75 inch TV’s on mobile stands.

L8 a Large Learning Space with 8 TV’s

L8 is flexible learning space in which I’ve installed 8 large 75″ TV’s I’ve also provided microphones and sound system to help teachers present more easily

Glasshouse IT Managers Event

8 TV’s with VIVI at the front, side and back of flexible learning space.

VIVI Installation

  • I gave Ryan the VIVI box and asked him to find out how it worked and to please install it in L8.
  • We wanted teachers and students to login to VIVI with their usernames and network accounts so some Active Directory configuration was required.
  • We enabled SAML, our two choices were using SAML or exposing SAML externally, we chose to use SAML because we had it available for other products.
  • We allowed VIVI through our Firewall,  and made a reservation so VIVI can get to YouTube.
  • Uploaded the VIVI Software Package to Self Services – Self Service is a Jamf Pro / Casper page from which our staff and students can easily download designated software.

Training Staff

I wanted to be sure that Teachers would use VIVI so we removed the Apple Mini Display Port / HTMI Cable from the Room.

If teachers or students want to use the Projector + 8 broadcast TV’s scattered in the room they would need to install and use VIVI software.

I took VIVI at their word “Vivi is the simplest wireless presenting software on the market and requires no user training” so I send out the following notice to let staff know about VIVI.

Please welcome VIVI to our College.png

Week Two

Teacher are having Student present and because of familiarity an time they are simply are reverting back to the HDMI Cable, because its quicker and easier than getting the students ton install and use VIVI.   – (VIVI is still in use more than 80 % of the week.)

Week Three, Four, Five and Six

The testing process stretched out longer than we though it would,  but there in was the success.

All the users in L8, about 200 students and teachers, have used VIVI without complaint for the past 6 weeks.

Cost Considerations

We’re a College with over 60 Learning Spaces,  (including our Large 75 inch TV’s we might have about 80 screens we want to use VIVI on).  That’s a lot of money to spend.

The BETA Program

I contacted VIVI about splitting the screen given that I have 8 screens in L8 so I might occasionally want the to group 2 of the screen separately and then broadcast to both screens separately form the the other five screen.

VIVI invited us to be part of this Beta Program, and I will report on how this goes in week three, they also very kindly sent me a second VIVI box to run trials with.  (already I have sufficient evidence to suggest VIVI is a product worth investing in).

Summary

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

VIVI is a very well thought out product,

 

 

 

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About Roland

Family, God, People, Architecture, Pursuit of Truth, Wisdom, Education, Community, Truth, Patience and Prosperity.
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