How network audio improves security, management

How network audio improves security, management
Just as network video has transformed the security industry, so will network audio, which can help the end user protect premises, manage assets and deliver a better customer experience.

That’s the point raised by Axis Communications in its recent blog post, “What’s New in Network Audio?” 


Improved customer experience

According to the company, network audio can enrich the customer experience in various sectors, including retail where different background music can be played in different zones of the same mall or shopping facility. “Background music is not a new phenomenon, but by having a networked audio solution that is connected to the Internet, the choice of background music is vastly improved. By choosing music that is in keeping with the target audience’s taste, they are less likely to listen to their own music on headphones when shopping. This means that retailers can further target customers with announcements highlighting new products or offers, further increasing sales,” the post said.

Smart zoning

More importantly, network audio can integrate with other devices on the network to enhance management. According to Axis, in many organizations it is more efficient to use zones when delivering audio messages, as zones allow users to target announcements to specific audiences in the relevant areas of a site, without repeating the message across the entire network of speakers.

“This can be achieved by using connected audio alongside IP-enabled cameras and a video management system, to view where the message needs to go and broadcast it to those within the defined perimeter,” Axis said. “One of the advantages of smart zoning is the flexibility it offers to the user. Zones can be easily reconfigured in an instant, without the need for new cabling. This is particularly useful if a situation arises where the predefined zones need to be changed, or the business being restructured.”

The company cited schools as an example. “Schools may have different floors, corridors and sometimes buildings. If a school has problems with tardiness, a member of staff could look at various locations and see where pupils are loitering rather than attending class. Through the smart zone system, the teacher could speak to the pupils and let them know they should hurry along to class, without having to make an announcement to the whole school,” Axis said.

Better security with audio

Finally, network audio integrated with other devices can help enhance security, as using remote audio alongside remote video monitoring allows users to speak to those caught on camera. “In the example of perimeter protection, a security officer may spot someone loitering with a potential cutting tool to break in through a fence. The guard could then use the audio system to speak directly to the potential intruder, informing them that they are being filmed and police are on the way,” Axis said. “Knowing they are being filmed is a very big deterrent for criminals and they are likely to abandon their illicit activity before they commit a crime.”
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