In today’s security scenario, just seeing is reactive. You
have to use audio for the most effective protection.
As security continues to remain a major area of investment across verticals and security concerns continue to keep organizations on their toes, video surveillance can reach its full potential by adding audio sound. Seeing an incident at a location may not enable security units to act swiftly to stop or prevent intrusive or harmful incidents. This is why the role of smart audio and smart speakers
that leverage the power of IP
technology has become important. Adding a layer of audio to the surveillance systems will help end customers have tighter control over their property and assets that need to be protected.
What is smart audio?
A smart speaker is a speaker that is not just a passive output system for sound, but an independent, active processor of speech and audio. “The new generation audio solution integrates multiple functions as an all-in-one device to simplify the whole audio system structure, combining speaker, amplifier, equalizer, and audio player in one,” said Jessica Chang, Regional Director of North Asia at Axis Communications
. “With the latest network technology, users can experience smartness with automation and management flexibility, and even have it connected to analytics.”
How smart audio systems enhance security
In a traditional surveillance system, the video solution acts as a human eye, watching, monitoring, and recording what is happening. When the video system “sees” something suspicious or unsafe, it notifies the security department to take action. This kind of operation is reactive and requires considerable human resources to work. “Audio
is a natural companion to security surveillance cameras,” Chang pointed out. By adding audio to video surveillance, the system can ‘speak’ as a human does. lt allows prompt response to potential threats by making warning announcements remotely to deter intruders instead of sending the security guard. The audio deployment increases operational efficiency, and appreciably reduces response time.
Significantly, smart speakers can be integrated with other security devices to maximize their capabilities. Integration with network-based IoT systems is simple and straightforward. Because the smart speaker is an all-in-one device that can independently operate, it can receive network command from other systems and take actions without any controller system in-between. A smart speaker can connect to a network camera directly via the network. When the camera detects any suspicious incident, the video camera will send a command to trigger the smart speaker to play a pre-recorded audio clip of warning announcement, notification, or deterrence.
Varied applications across verticals
The security-related application of smart audio solutions is appreciated by customers. In the retail environment, Network Audio solution from Axis can help provide dwell time alerts to deter organized shoplifting by increasing and speeding up personal interaction with loiterers in the store. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Systems integrators and customers can use smart speakers for several other purposes that can improve day-to-day business operations.
“Industrial manufacturers and education institutes are early adopters for smart speakers in its business operation, especially in North Asia,” Chang said. “Many leading global manufacturers are using smart speakers in North Asia to improve communication efficiency, reaching every corner within a large factory area.” In their daily operations, a smart audio solution with smart speakers can help the factory operators make live or scheduled announcements to different locations in the factory sites via network infrastructure easily.
Smart audio offers great value to the retail industry as well. Retail shops can make use of video to identify potential sales opportunities and use audio to offer product promotion or notify a sales assistant. Smart Audio can be used for better customer engagement with sound and music, while video helps identify customer behavior. They can also play preset welcome messages when the store opens, play music, and broadcast promotional messages at scheduled times in specific areas.
Smart audio is becoming an essential technology to protect against modern threats, but their purpose is not just limited to security. Companies and organizations in verticals ranging from education to manufacturing and retail can make use of smart audio to augment their everyday business operations and improve employee and customer experience. If integrated with today’s IoT-enabled systems, smart audio systems could be the next gamechanger in many industries.