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College's eDome slated to open this fall: Multimedia, Web-based facility breaks down geographical barriers.

The new Cambrian College eDome will provide Sudbury's business community money-saving opportunities with its state of the art multimedia Web-based facilities, according to the college's interim president, Ivan Filion.

The eDome is a circular demonstration theatre that will accommodate 90 spectators in four arrays of seats.

The design allows viewers to be close to the demonstration podium situated in the centre of the room.

The Cambrian College eDome is part of a 121,000-square-foot construction project at the college's Barrydowne campus.

The facility will enhance learning opportunities in areas such as technology, health sciences, information technology, computer graphic technical applications, e-commerce and applied research.

What makes the eDome so unique is its multimedia systems, Filion says.

The theatre will have twelve digital cameras multiplexed to four independent video streams, which can be used to capture close-ups of the equipment being demonstrated and of the demonstrator and the audience as they interact.

Four cameras will be located in the centre of the room to capture audience interactions along with four along the perimeter to capture the demonstrator regardless of his or her position around the equipment.

The professor will be able to easily control the positioning of the cameras, computer and screen displays, audio, blinds, lighting and other related systems through a touch panel screen.

The eDome is a flexible environment for learning and can be used for other purposes such as a public address or corporate product launches.

"It Will be great that Sudbury's business community will have a college that can provide Web-based training for businesses and its employees, and the ability for them to liaise with its markets and consultants around the world," says Filion.

"Businesses will have a chance to do their business without the costs of travel to bring different expertises around the world, because it is possible for many different people to consult worldwide using the eDome and its features," he explains.

"Domtar Eddy Forest Products Ltd. has already shown interest in the eDome and have committed $300,000 to the project over the next five years," Filion says.

Domtar, located in Espanola, utilizes the college for staff training and incurs travel time and travel expenses from doing so. They plan to utilize the multimedia technologies which use wireless and broadband technology, Filion says. Employers value the eDome because it will provide any time and anyplace convenience since release time will only be required for the training and there will be no travel time or expenses.

"There has been accelerated corporate interest now that the eDome has been built and people can see exactly what it will look like; the concept is then better understood," Filion says. "Rental details and prices have not yet been looked at."

The eDome was part of the Superbuild project at Cambrian College.

"The eDome was built as part of the expansion to trades." Filion says.

"It will initially support the partnership with trades and house a lot of their classes such as the millwrights, electricians, mechanics and welders," he adds.

The college is planning on housing other programs such as the dental hygienist program because of the water, drain and compressed air that will be available to students.

Filion explained that it will be possible to have the mechanics taking apart a greasy motor one day and then have the dental hygienists working in a sanitary environment the next because of cleaning capabilities in the eDome.

"The building has great ventilation," he explains. "The floors are only a grained concrete, which makes them easy to scrub and even be pressure washed to make the room sanitary once again."

"The eDome's construction alone has cost an estimated $1.8 million," says Aldo Favot, director of college services.

That figure does not include any of the equipment and tools that will be set up in the eDome.

"We have consultants working on the figures now, but we have to make sure the infrastructure will meet the needs of the equipment before we purchase it," Favot says..

The Cambrian College eDome is set to "get fired up in early September," Filion says.

Tours of the eDome are being offered to interested viewers.

To arrange a visit call Aldo Favot at 1-705-566-8101 extension 7472.
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Author:Sanders, Leslie
Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Apr 1, 2002
Words:701
Previous Article:Online training market expands.
Next Article:Northern Ontario post-secondary institutions.
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