How IP intercoms can enhance video surveillance systems
Customer attitudes and demands have continued to shape the security sector, driving ongoing market and industry changes. As a result, new use cases have emerged for security and safety, related to building access, communication and control across a variety of sectors. These have set the scene for security professionals to rethink how intercom technology is being used, taking advantage of advanced capabilities to help intelligently support end users and system owners. This would span automated monitoring and remote management to convenient, safe and secure ways to grant access to premises.
Smart intercoms deliver value
IP intercoms continue to grow in popularity, due to the increased functionality they support. This is true for all segments of the market, from advanced enterprise level security systems to private residential properties. Integrating technology into IP intercoms ensures that organizations have the flexibility to incorporate the functions they need for their business, especially when it comes to remote access.
Contactless methods (for example, QR codes or Bluetooth) are becoming more popular due to concerns around health and hygiene. These also simplify operations by allowing the distribution of temporary access rights digitally, in contrast to manually handling physical keys or access cards, which can be time consuming and costly for security personnel.
Implementing intelligent video or audio analytics capabilities can further support security teams by detecting incidents and triggering actions. For example, if an unauthorized person enters a restricted area or loud voices (or even gun shots) are detected, the intercom can automatically alert security staff, start a video recording and play a deterring message.
When integrated with an access control system, a similar response can be triggered when someone has been denied access. This can be done directly from the intercom, provided it has a built-in camera. If additional identity verification is needed (for example, if an access card has been stolen and the individual is attempting to use it), then this can be done by visual inspection.
Improving efficiency and security for both residential and commercial premises
Security managers are tasked with monitoring multiple entrances to a premise and controlling entry, regardless of the type of property. This can be difficult to achieve manually, but IP intercoms allow security teams to manage visitors and maintain safety from a centralized location, which may even be off-premise.
For residential properties, IP intercoms can offer improved convenience through remote unlocking of doors for known visitors, such as couriers. Calls from visitors can be received on a dedicated answering unit in an apartment, on a tablet when sitting in the sofa or on your mobile device when at work, whatever is most convenient at the time.
It’s a similar scenario in professional environments, where it can also be integrated with the corporate phone system and answered on the normal reception phone, or even in the video management system on the screens in the security office.
Thinking beyond traditional applications
Outside of the more common door access role, organizations are becoming more aware of the benefits of IP intercoms. New cases are arising in a number of sectors, which require technology to support staff in remote monitoring and communication.
In the healthcare sector, patient monitoring can be challenging from both a staffing and personal safety point of view. This is especially true for busy medical facilities, where multiple patients may require intensive care by a reduced number of staff. IP intercoms can support medical professionals by allowing them to reliably monitor and communicate with more patients, using high-res imaging and bi-directional audio capabilities. In addition, this type of technology helps reduce patient contact, thereby mitigating exposure to infectious diseases and helping to conserve on personal protective equipment (PPE).
This remote approach is also seen in other sectors. For retailers, deliveries are always coming and going. Controlling building access can be time-consuming and inefficient for store staff, IP intercoms allow them to control access for visitors – especially delivery drivers needing to access loading bays – without interfering with or distracting from other tasks taking place during the working day.
In recent times, many organizations have changed their routines when it comes to working remotely or on-site. For schools, offices and industrial companies, keeping track of who is entering premises is more important than ever, when it comes to protecting assets and people, but also from a liability perspective. An intercom can allow organizations to handle and manage visitor access and can be an important tool for tracking activities and events should an incident occur.
Investing in IP intercom solutions yields rewards
As security and safety demands change, organizations are continuing to look for technology solutions which are intelligent and integrated. IP intercoms offer many functionalities, especially when incorporated with video surveillance, access control and audio capabilities. The flexibility that these systems offer allow organizations to use them in a way that suits their needs and specific use cases – even outside of traditional applications. Ultimately, implementing IP intercoms will help support different types of staff in a number of scenarios, allowing them to perform at a higher standard, while improving efficiencies.
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