Can You Hear Me Now?

Two-way audio systems add value for customers

Another tip from Rietschel to maximize audio quality is to provide CD-quality audio and high dynamic range. "You need multiple microphones for any camera that provides an overview of a large area," he said. "A microphone 30 feet from the source won't detect whispering or low-volume conversations." Audio quality is maximized by placing the microphones and the speakers in the right locations. "A camera with a cheap speaker, a poor microphone and a phone codec will provide miserable audio quality," Rietschel said. A typical ISDN phone codec immediately loses the dynamic range required to pick up certain audio sources. "It makes sense to separate the audio and video in terms of devices, perhaps using an IP audio device and camera with no audio and strategically placing the microphones and speakers to intelligibly pick up as much audio as possible," he continued. Another non-technical key to success is to review local laws and be aware of what signage and notification are required from the compliance point of view.

Nuts and bolts as a sound solution

Audio is gaining ground and whether you choose to implement it with your video now or later, it is important to educate yourself on the capabilities. Keep pace with the developments, know what to do and what you need to make this solution part of your customers' interactive security platform.

Voice Finds a Home at Oregon Hospital

Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, Beaverton, Ore., selected Integrated Systems Group (ISG) to install their critical paging system. They wanted something that would reliably deliver superior intelligibility, ensuring every paging transmission would be clear and understandable and go through every time. In addition, the system needed to accommodate the medical center's requirements for safety and expansion in the future.

At the heart of the new audio and paging system is Biamp Systems' Vocia, a decentralized, network-friendly media system that provides intuitive features, reliable paging and easy expansion as the center continues its renovation.

The new system incorporates 12 paging stations. ISG streamlined the system to create a network of components that is easy to manage and maintain. They eliminated most of the paging amplifiers that had previously been scattered throughout the facility and centralized them in a single unit, added capability to monitor wire runs and overall system health and replaced wiring nests of dead-end, broken and cut wires with clean, secure wire runs.

Get the Customers Attention with Audio

For customers dealing with high-value items like jewelry or coins, nothing beats a big beefy bodyguard, right?

A good audio security system will be on the job before the customer even gets to the site, said Westec's Jon Bolen. "Yes, we virtually escort people on and off their property or business," Bolen said. "But we can be there watching the property before the customer even gets there."

In fact, they will scan the parking lot before the customer rolls up and wave them off if there are any suspicious vehicles or people around. The audio system will voice down a warning to the suspect. If the suspect does not leave, security calls the police.

Aiphone's IS Series IP Video Intercom is a network-based communication and all-in-one security control system that features video entry security, internal communication, rescue assistance and paging and bell/chime scheduling. The system can unlock doors remotely on a network, assist onsite visitors from an offsite phone, broadcast emergency announcements and communicate using a standard or PC Master Station. The target market is school districts, businesses or multi-building facilities with centralized security that require two-way communications.