3 ways that audio solutions can contribute to a smarter and safer city

Andrea Sorri

In the discussions around smart cities – there are different types of sensors to more efficiently manage a city’s resources – the role of audio can sometimes be overlooked. In reality, audio can be used as a valuable compliment and even an alternative to cameras or other IoT sensors in cities.

Selecting a modern connected audio system can ensure that the important communication take place at right time, in the right place and with the sound quality needed to keep citizens safe and secure.  Here are three principal scenarios when audio solutions can contribute to a smarter and safer city:

1. Sound detection

Many security incidents in a city are preceded or initiated by some kind of noise, for example aggressive behavior and raised voices, gunshots or breaking glass. Today’s solutions can automatically detect and recognize pre-defined sounds and send alerts for potential and real incidents as they occur.

Surveillance cameras in combination with sound detection capabilities can add great value to security systems covering public spaces, like a park or square. The combination of sound and video can be a powerful solution to both detect and verify a situation, and enable quick, relevant action to minimize the consequences.

2. Emergency announcements

Each year many cities are exposed to emergency situations, such as natural disasters. In situations like this it is important to inform citizens as soon as possible and guide them in order to keep people safe. With audio speakers its possible to reach people in selected zones quickly and effectively.

The audio announcement systems are often installed to prepare cities for emergency situations. In the case that something happens, it is crucial to have a reliable and working system. With the right network speaker solution, the condition of the system and audio quality is under full and constant control, ensuring that messages are delivered as clearly as is necessary in an emergency situation.

3. Prevent crime

Having enough resources to keep a city safe is a common challenge in cities all over the world. A lot of cities are working with a surveillance system to monitor the city and manage law enforcement resources in the most efficient way. With video, we can detect crimes such as intrusion into buildings or restricted areas, but in many cases police or guards will not reach the location in time to prevent theft or vandalism.

By implementing video surveillance in combination with an audio solution, the camera can prompt an automated audio warning to the intruder, or alert a security guard to give a live warning directly to the intruder using the audio system. In many cases, this type of warning is sufficient, preventing the need for additional security measures.

The safety and security of citizens is often highlighted as one of the most important aspects of livability in a modern city. With authorities increasingly looking to use connected technology to improve their cities, it is a combination of different sensors and devices that offer the maximum potential, and audio can play a central role.

You can find out more about Axis network audio systems here, and more on creating safe cities below.

Read the 2020 Smart City Magazine