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How public address works wonders in IP

How public address works wonders in IP

For a long time, public address (PA) systems have served their purpose of broadcasting audio messages to the public in times of emergency. Yet, as with other systems in security, public address has evolved and increasingly migrated to IP, allowing further integrative capabilities to benefit end users.

That was the key message from Jerry Hung, VP of BXB Electronics, during a Messe Frankfurt-held event in Taipei. BXB manufactures a variety of conference systems and public address systems.

According Hung, in the analog era, public address systems were standalone systems with little integration capabilities. Yet as they move towards IP, they can integrate with more systems over the Internet. These systems include video surveillance, access control, and other network-centric devices and sensors. This feature enables greater flexibility, automation, and convenience for operators in an emergency situation.

Hung cited as an example how an integrated PA system would work in an earthquake situation. During an earthquake, the public address would broadcast an audio or video message through speakers and digital signage. But it could also co-work with other devices or sensors connected to the system. For example, with the access control system connected to it, it would activate access control so all emergency doors would be unlocked for evacuation. The system could also be connected to the main gas valve, which would then close to stop releasing gas. BXB has joined forces with Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau to develop an earthquake public broadcasting system, which has been deployed in elementary and junior high schools throughout Taiwan.

He also cited other use cases. The system, for example, could integrate with carbon dioxide sensors. “If there is a place with many people, there's a possibility that the concentration of carbon dioxide has increased. Once there is an increase as detected by a carbon dioxide sensor, the system would broadcast a message or trigger the HVAC to maintain the comfort level,” he said.

When connected with video surveillance, the system could serve as a better deterrent to criminal activities. “For example, if the video surveillance system detects someone is climbing a wall, then a message would be broadcast, saying 'what are you doing.' This alone will deter criminal activities most of the time,” Hung said. “We can help video become not just a post-event investigation tool but a real-time event management solution to better deter crime.”

As another example, in a factory, a machine breakage in a certain area would trigger the system to broadcast a message saying there is a machine failure in that area, and operators can act on it accordingly. “In the IoT era, no one system works in silos. It must integrate,” Hung said. “And ultimately it is this integration capability that helps protect lives and boost efficiency.”

Product Adopted:
Public Address / Party Paging System

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