Listening in: The business potential of network audio
Bringing surveillance systems to the next level – by adding audio
It’s no secret that video surveillance has come a long way. When network cameras became mainstream in the mid-2000s they changed the game for video surveillance. The ability to connect cameras to an IP-based network delivered functionalities and capabilities beyond those of traditional analog video cameras, and brought unprecedented flexibility and scalability to the surveillance sector.
Besides adding one of the many video features that have been developed over the past years to the camera network, there’s another way to improve your offering and sales: network audio. As an enhancement to video cameras, it adds benefits in security and beyond. Customers have discovered the value of adding audio to their video surveillance system. As a result, the demand for audio is increasing, as it gives customers the ability to stop incidents before they lead to expensive disruptions or loss.
The power of voice in surveillance systems
Adding network audio adds a range of possibilities in terms of reacting to events in real-time.
Voice messages – whether live or pre-recorded – can help customers stop the unwanted activity before it causes severe damage and it’s a powerful tool when it comes to deterring criminals. Network audio speakers can communicate with the rest of the IP surveillance system, leading to a coordinated response. If an alarm is triggered through a video camera, for example through motion detection, there’s the option for operators to review the footage and launch the predetermined action plan. That could include sending a live voice message tailored to the incident and intruder or to play pre-recorded messages once an alarm is triggered. These incidents can then be reviewed and messages sent remotely.
In particular, the live messages from an operator often have a stronger effect on intruders. A message, such as ‘You in the grey hoodie and blue sneakers! You are not authorized to be in this area. Guards are on the way!” usually hits home.
A feature that meets the needs of most businesses
Regardless of the size of the business or industry, damage caused by intruders can have a significant negative impact. Unplanned downtime, stolen goods or damaged assets can be the result of an incident, leading to loss of earnings. This is even more relevant for businesses which depend on tools and machines for their productivity, such as in the construction and farming industries.
A solution that combines IP cameras and network audio in a security system provides a critical part of the security defence, protecting a range of businesses from the effects of adverse incidents. No matter if it’s small businesses or large enterprises, the audio solution can be tailored to the respective needs, in terms of devices as well as application.
Easy in every way – from installation to operation
Integrating network audio with an existing system can be challenging and time intensive. Using equipment that is based on open technology makes it easy to integrate audio speakers, even if another supplier has provided the customer’s VMS (video management software) and IP cameras. This also provides flexibility if the customer’s requirements change. More cameras or speakers can be easily added or moved and the kind of video analytics changed.
The network audio system connects to already existing infrastructure so there is no need for extra cabling. By using PoE (Power over Ethernet) there is only need for a single standard network cable for connectivity, power and communication, which also makes installation and operation easy.
High flexibility and user-friendliness
On top of the easy integration into existing systems, network audio benefits from the user-friendliness of IP-based systems. It allows, for example, the monitored area to be divided into zones via audio management software. These defined zones can be individually set up with cameras and speakers depending on the customer’s needs. The speakers can even play different recorded messages to the respective areas. Axis also provides regular software updates, ensuring that the system benefits from the latest functionality and features.
Recently Axis included network audio speakers also in its AXIS Companion offering, which not only allows for installation with the press of a button but also for customers to manage all the devices within the network via an app. This will save time and costs for customers and installers alike.
The market is starting to see the value of network speakers as a part of a complete surveillance system and it’s the right time for Axis partners to add audio to their portfolio.