NSCA hosted its 2021 Pivot to Profit (P2P) conference in September, but the business transformation conversations continue. The articles in the Pivot to Profit+ section of the Q3 2021 edition of our quarterly trade journal, Integrate, keep the discussions going. This column by P2P sponsor Axis Communications discusses network audio.
Hear us out: Network audio improves security and operational efficiency in a variety of applications.
By Axis Communications (sponsored content)
As humans, our connection to the world around us is based on senses. Only with the help of sight, hearing, touch, and smell are we able to interact with our surroundings, navigate, and stay safe and secure.
In the form of surveillance systems, we’ve started to replicate the capabilities of these senses through technology: video surveillance cameras as our sight and microphones and audio-in as our hearing.
Network audio speakers provide a channel for us to communicate verbally based on what we’ve seen and heard. Our voices are especially important when at risk or facing a dangerous situation, as they allow us to send a warning signal to those around us or direct them to safety. Network audio can also play that role.
But audio isn’t valuable only in enhancing safety and security: It can also support operational efficiency across various industries. Network audio can be utilized in a variety of different ways, like creating an atmosphere using background music or playing automated announcements.
How Network Audio Improves Security
Installing network speakers and other audio technology can help transform a reactive surveillance system into a proactive deterrence tool to prevent crime and elevate security.
Once a camera locates a potential threat—trespassing, vandalism, parking violations, etc.—a voice message (live or pre-recorded) can be played, allowing a real-time intervention. This fast response can help halt illegal activities completely or before severe damage is done.
Reducing the number of incidents can mean less downtime for a business, prevention of theft, fewer manhours to repair damage, and potentially reduce loss, insurance costs, and more.
You Can Still Watch NSCA’s 2021 Pivot to Profit Sessions. Email Deb Gaskill at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
An Extra Security Layer for the Chester Zoo
To optimize security and respond faster to threats for animals, staff, and visitors, Chester Zoo upgraded its surveillance solution. The zoo installed over 300 network cameras combined with numerous horn speakers, such as AXIS C1310-E, at doors, entrances, and parking areas. Based on surveillance camera footage, the zoo provided real-time communication with visitors through live and recorded audio messages, guiding them toward the entrance and deterring any potential wrongdoing that could pose a threat to people or property. In combination with cameras, these proactive solutions also helped the zoo’s security team locate and act upon security threats faster than before, tightening perimeter security, optimizing retail operations, and preventing losses at the zoo’s many eateries and souvenir shops.
Safe and Sound
Network audio solutions can also contribute to the safety of the individuals in a location. Being able to audibly alert people can be even more effective than putting up signs with warnings or other visual factors.
Messages played via network audio speakers can not only communicate with large numbers of people simultaneously, but also provide useful safety information. For instance, they could play reminders of social distancing rules during the recent pandemic or assist with occupancy management.
Fighting Natural Forces and Crime with Audio
In Chile’s Valparaiso region, where earthquakes and natural disasters are relatively common, the City of Concón discovered the true benefit of installing horn speakers. Following an earthquake with a magnitude of 8.4 and subsequent tsunami, which caused significant damage to surrounding cities, authorities installed an advanced surveillance system at strategically chosen locations. The combination of cameras and network speakers enabled better communication between public authorities and residents and improved safety for citizens and tourists.
During extreme weather, operators can provide safety instructions and information via speakers along the coastal walk. These messages can be played manually or automatically in response to a pre-set event.
In addition, the City of Concón uses the cameras to detect, deter, and prevent crimes in these areas while safeguarding residents by alerting them via the speaker system. The cameras help with the detection of potential crimes, and the footage can be used for forensic purposes to identify suspects.
Binghamton University: Safe Education with Network Speakers
Binghamton University in the United States was in need of an advanced security system for its campus, which had grown significantly to around 120 buildings.
Adding network speakers throughout the campus allows the university to communicate with students and directly address those intent on crime. By connecting new speakers to the emergency notification system, it’s also possible to quickly evacuate the whole campus thanks to an integrated mass communication system. The solution also provides the flexibility to broadcast announcements in specific zones, providing students with location-relevant information.
Improving Operational Efficiency through Network Audio
Network audio can also help increase operational efficiency and commercial performance in various sectors, including retail.
In-store advertisements and news about special offers in shops and atmospheric background music have shown to be effective in improving sales and elevating customer experiences while quickly directing employees to certain areas of the store. The options are endless and, most importantly—thanks to zoning features—not limited to the size or number of zones that need to be targeted.
The retail supply chain can also benefit from the use of network audio in the context of safety or to deter and prevent crime.
Pump Up the Jam
The case of the gym chain U Time Fitness demonstrates the flexibility of network audio speakers. The solution implemented at U Time Fitness allows personal trainers in different zones to play their playlists during exercise classes. This is possible thanks to the zoning audio system, which lets the operator target what music or message is being played in which area of the gym.
Safety, security, and songs: the holy trinity.
Network audio is a versatile technology that delivers many benefits. Audio speakers can not only deter and prevent crime, but also improve public safety in a variety of applications and help optimize customer experience and efficiency. Plus, they’re easy to install, cost-effective, and highly scalable.
NSCA chooses its Pivot to Profit sponsors carefully. They not only provide solutions worthy of consideration by our integrator members, but also are well positioned to lead business transformation conversations. Click here to learn more about Axis network audio solutions or call 800-444-2947 to speak with a local representative.