University and school students will visit the museum and use the centre, known as the SoundHouse VectorLab, to create sound, video and image projects.
Prior to the upgrade, which began in November last year and was completed this month, students shared one PC between two people on desks with production software and devices with a teacher at the front of the room.
The Starboards allow groups of people to interact with one another in front of the whiteboard, accessing programs such as Google earth, digital story-telling, song writing and recording and film producing.
Dipak Kumar general manager of electronic components and digital presentation/technology at Hitachi said the company picked reseller Concept AV to install the equipment because it has an office in Sydney and is a long standing partner.
"Concept AV has done a lot of installations for us in the past including schools and universities so they were familiar with the project," he said.
Peter Mahony manager of education at the Powerhouse Museum said he did the initial design work on the project and had a meeting with Hitachi to talk about the plans.
"It was an excellent facility before but we realised that learning and education has progressed and we need to keep up to speed with that.
"We need to put the student at the centre of the learning experience rather than the teacher.
"Students pick up the use of the technology very quickly and learn in real time. We are the facilitators in the room.
Bernhard Kotarski director of Concept AV said he was delighted to get the contract.
"It is a very interesting installation in the public domain. We have done a number of fairly sizeable projects with Hitachi installing the Starboards in many corporate environments such as boardrooms as well as in the education sector in schools and universities," he said.
"The work took two of our senior technicians two days to complete. The challenge for us in installing the equipment was getting the alignment between the short throw projectors and the whiteboards.
"The technician has to be accurate and it was more complex than setting it up in a normal meeting room. Luckily we have very experienced staff who have installed this type of solution before so it was a success," he added.
Kotarski said the company is now working on another two projects with Hitachi and other vendors installing whiteboards at the University of Technology in Ultimo (UTS) and the engineering faculty at the University of Sydney.
"The job is more complex than the one at the Powerhouse Museum because we are installing the equipment in lecture theatres and have to take into consideration sophisticated room control and sound systems," he said.
Since installing Hitachi's products, the Powerhouse has changed its course programs to take into account the advanced technology.
Issue: 322 | December 2013
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