LAS VEGAS - Audio detection technology has certainly garnered a lot more attention from organizations in both the public and private sectors in recent years given the spotlight that has been placed on mitigating against active shooter incidents. And though audio monitoring capabilities are not new, the analytics used to process sounds have been vastly improved upon.
One company that has been on the forefront of developing audio monitoring products is Louroe Electronics. At this week’s ISC West conference in Las Vegas, Louroe is introducing its new Intelligent Audio Analytics System known as the LE-802, which is designed to provide users with an easy-to-use solution for unattended monitoring for audio events. The LE-802 is an all-in-one, customizable audio analytics system, in which the microphone, analytics software and processor are housed in a weather and vandal-resistant enclosure for outdoor applications.
Louroe has been building analog microphones for the security industry for nearly four decades but according to Richard Brent, the company’s CEO, they have never had a digital software technology solution like this in their product portfolio until now.
“The LE-802 can be used for at least four different forms of audio capture (gunshot, aggressive speech, breaking glass, and car alarms), so it’s a huge gap filler for us in that; one it’s digital, two it’s software that is tied quite closely to how the human ear performs, and lastly, our analog products are still important because something has to capture the sound before you can process it,” said Brent. “For the future, this is a big step for us.”
Brent said that while many people tend to think of audio monitoring devices with only being useful for detecting gunshots, the fact is gunshot detection is but one of several applications for the technology.
“If I’m a co-ed on campus walking at 7:30 at night either finishing up with my classes or just going to class and someone jumps out of the bushes, accosts me and I scream for help, the aggression detection [analytics] will pick up the scream. It doesn’t matter where I am on campus and there doesn’t have to be a physical body nearby to catch the sound,” explained Brent. “Duress detection allows us to be able to try and prevent anything further from happening as opposed to gunshot detection, which is great – we want to know where they are and we want to respond as quickly as possible – but it’s already happened whereas with duress detection I’m trying to protect people and prevent aggression or duress from turning into a potentially life-threatening situation.”
Brent said many auto dealerships also like to leverage glass break detection as a means of preventing car theft.
“There are case studies of auto dealers who have installed audio monitoring and they haven’t had a problem in years because it does its job,” said Brent. “Cameras alone only see. We have got to stop silent movies and we have an answer.”
As more people become aware that there are audio analytics available that can detect aggression or duress in someone’s tone of voice in addition to gunshots, Brent believes there will be a broad market for this technology.
“Recently at a significant VMS company’s event, they without us asking, said that video is well-saturated and that it’s time to look at other sensory technologies, such as audio,” added Brent. “More and more people are saying, ‘I’ve got cameras, but cameras with eyes only don’t do me a lot of good.’ We’re seeing schools, transportation, hospitals, retail, government facilities, and the list just goes on and on in terms of the end users that we talk to and redirect through our distribution channel.”