Rise above the noise: How network audio elevates security and business solutions

Chris Wildfoerster

The network audio market continues to grow, with new developments in technology giving organizations the potential to revolutionize the ways they use audio to improve security and enhance business operations.

Let’s dive deeper into how network audio is taking security and business solutions to the next level.

How can network audio complement security?

Did you know that total retail loss from theft, fraud and other retail shrink has stood at roughly $50 billion over the past few years, according to research from the National Retail Federation? Or that one in every 40 employees were apprehended by their employer for theft in 2017? Whether you work in retail or not, this should at least give you an idea that crime can significantly impact companies, and protecting assets and property is absolutely critical to business success.

Most companies already use cameras to provide protection and safety by utilizing recording of activity, visual documentation and other security measures to protect assets. However, with the addition of network audio, companies can not only see but also speak to those caught on camera.

The combination of audio and video allows users to proactively deter criminals quickly and more efficiently. Take, for example, a critical facility that wants to increase security along its perimeter. A network speaker, triggered by motion detection software in a camera, can play an automatic, pre-recorded message directly to the trespasser such as, “You are trespassing. This area is under video surveillance, and you have been recorded.” This, alone, could deter intruders, which could save the facility from having to send security personnel to that area. In turn, this can save precious time and resources, resulting in cost savings and increased return on investment.

Another technology that allows for more proactive surveillance is aggression detection. When this software is integrated with a network video surveillance solution, it can recognize aggression by analyzing the increasing volume and tone of speech, as well as detecting fear or duress in a person’s voice. Once it detects these sound patterns, the system automatically triggers an alert and/or feeds live video footage to a control room or mobile device. This helps security personnel detect potentially dangerous situations easier, enabling them to intervene quicker.

As you can see, network audio can provide a significant return on investment when it comes to security, but how can it help businesses…well…conduct better business? Let’s investigate.

How can network audio complement business?

Along with improving security, network audio can also add new dimensions to a business or organization by changing how it interacts with people. For example:

  1. In the increasingly competitive retail space, merchants are always looking to gain an edge. With a network audio solution, they can play and schedule different content in different zones at the same time, and then change both the zones and content as needed. This allows retailers to customize their message and background music to provide a more engaging experience.
  2. Alerts and announcements are easily scheduled or broadcast live. Schools with different floors, corridors and even buildings can leverage network audio to ensure students get to class on time with bell chimes broadcast over wall speakers. A staff member can view various locations via surveillance camera feeds to see where students are loitering. Through the smart zone system, this member can specifically address that area of the school instead of broadcasting an announcement across the entire building.
  3. Network audio can also be used for public address for routine situations, such as calling an employee, teacher or student to a certain part of the building, or during an emergency where escaping a building might not be possible through a certain exit.
  4. Paging is another aspect that can be incorporated with network audio, as different solutions can leverage your existing VoIP system or for peer to peer communications through a SIP microphone to a classroom phone, handset device or mobile phone.

Network audio allows for greater flexibility, which in turn can make for cost-effective scalability. Businesses can update and add units to their solution as their needs change, regardless of whether they want to increase the size, add sites or take advantage of new features.

Years ago, options with audio and video were limited. Today, integrating network audio into your current surveillance system (whether it’s network based or analog) can pay huge dividends when it comes to improving your security and enhancing business operations. Check out our free webinar where we go even more in-depth about how network audio solutions can improve a security system and provide other helpful applications for businesses.