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Caesars, UNLV Partner with Aruba to Power Black Fire Innovation Incubator Space


Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, announced that Black Fire InnovationTM, a collaboration between Caesars Entertainment and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), will deploy an Aruba infrastructure in its unique technology incubation hub designed to enable the next generation of retail, entertainment and hospitality experiences.

Black Fire Innovation brings together one of the world’s most diversified casino-entertainment providers in Caesars Entertainment and one of the nation’s top research institutions in UNLV, to drive the future of hospitality with an innovation environment that will encourage and support student entrepreneurship and career development, expand diversification in gaming, showcase a variety of technologies, and explore the possibilities for connected, integrated resorts.

Opening this month and located in Las Vegas at the UNLV Harry Reid Research and Technology Park, the 43,000 square foot facility houses replica elements of a resort with dedicated software development spaces, business acceleration activities, training opportunities and hospitality and gaming labs. The mock hub also includes a commercial kitchen, casino floor, hotel rooms, eSports studio with arena-style seating, Virtual Reality (VR) lab and sportsbook, along with private offices and conference rooms, as well as collaboration and co-working spaces, classrooms and presentation facilities.

As a key technology partner for Black Fire Innovation, Aruba, assisted by implementation partner, Minervaworks, will provide its 535 Series Wi-Fi 6 and 303H Access Points (APs), CX 8300 Series Switches, 2930 Access Switches, Aruba Central cloud management and ClearPass Policy Manager in the first deployment phase. A second phase will include the implementation of Aruba Meridian Location Services and IoT integration technologies. The Aruba solutions will help power key use cases for UNLV students to study and explore including digital signage, wayfinding, eSports gaming, VR, use of IoT in dining and food safety applications, hotel locks and hotel room maintenance.

“At the heart of Black Fire Innovation is exploring true collaboration and connection to propel the future of hospitality and gaming,” said Salil Kulkarni, interim chief information officer at Caesars Entertainment. “Caesars Entertainment has proudly been at the forefront of gaming and innovation for many years and Aruba continues to be an industry leader in providing wireless connectivity and intelligent networks. This partnership will enable Black Fire Innovation to powerfully pursue creativity and entrepreneurship to foster and develop the next generation of gaming and hospitality modernization.”

Wireless connectivity is an essential part of the equation when it comes to delivering new and impactful hospitality experiences. Wi-Fi 6-enabled Black Fire Innovation was created, in part, as a development hub for experimenting and testing out the possibilities of Wi-Fi 6. As a market leader in Wi-Fi 6 and one of the first companies to achieve Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 certification for its 530 and 550 Series APs, Aruba is working with Caesars Entertainment and UNLV to utilize best-in-class networking technology to facilitate learning and professional development, while discovering solutions that transform the guest and hospitality employee experience for the better.

“Black Fire Innovation will help drive the future of hospitality and gaming technology, and its development is made possible through collaborations with advanced technology partners like Aruba,” said Zach Miles, associate vice president for Economic Development at UNLV. “Working with Aruba gives us the tools we need to take great ideas to the next level, and supports our efforts to offer real world opportunities to the next generation of industry leaders – our students – in a proving ground like no other.”

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