March 10, 2021

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Contact tracing and COVID-19 director’s briefing

Innovations in IP audio to help create a smarter, safer world

David Needham, Axis Communications, discusses the transformation in digital audio solutions and the benefits of network connectivity for improved security and public address.

Digital (IP) audio is fast replacing traditional audio as its reliable successor. Just as modern network cameras have provided benefits beyond surveillance as a result of IoT connectivity, so too are audio solutions following a similar path. Modern audio offers a host of possibilities for industry, including improving security with scheduled or real-time alerts, pre-recorded announcements to offer help or direction, and the ability to create ambience in any setting. Such solutions offer a significant opportunity for AV integrators.

The use of digital audio in combination with powerful software and its ability to share data with other devices to generate a fuller picture, is a key part of the advantage that intelligent IP audio systems have over their standalone analogue counterparts. It is this ability to interconnect, to become a significant part of a larger system, and to operate without the need for human intervention, that really sets IP audio technology apart as a powerful tool in a rapidly advancing world.

 


Register for the Audio for Public Address webinar to find out more.


IP audio for enhanced security

Having the right mix of devices can prove powerful when considering today’s security requirements. IP audio can be instrumental in deterring criminal activity, for example, at the perimeter of an energy substation where pre-recorded audio voice alerts and sirens, triggered by connected network video camera data, serve to warn trespassers of the potential dangers of entering the site. Additional integration with access control technologies results in a complete end-to-end security solution that is capable of providing advanced protection of a site both inside and out through multiple means.

Using a control mechanism such as AXIS Audio Manager and its related audio management software, security personnel can simply and effectively control and monitor their audio solution. Such a system allows them to ensure that alerts reach the right target group, and to divide a site up virtually into different zones, with appropriate audio scheduled to broadcast automatically, or when triggered by a pre-determined event. Schedules can be interrupted in the event of an alarm or urgent alert which is set to take priority.

Safer social distancing using a public address system

IP audio means that a single audio device can be used for a wide variety of applications, with benefits of security and safety, without the need for costly infrastructure. During the COVID-19 pandemic IP audio has been effectively employed for its public address capabilities to encourage adherence to social distancing, mask wearing and hand sanitising, as well as helping to manage occupancy thresholds.

Pre-recorded or real-time messaging can also be used to issue alerts in the event of someone failing to comply with regulations, whether related to the pandemic, or in any industry or situation where rules or processes should be carefully followed. For those with visual impairment, or where English is not a first language, IP audio can be helpful as part of a wider range of measures to improve situational awareness. Such measures can help to improve user experience and boost confidence.

In our recent whitepaper, based on a survey of Axis’ partner companies to ascertain the effects of COVID-19 on their businesses, IP audio was highlighted as being in demand due to its crowd and queue management capabilities together with issuing reminders around the need to socially distance and to encourage appropriate health and safety protocols among colleagues and customers.

A versatile audio solution

In combination with network speakers, an all-in-one microphone console, such as the AXIS 2N Sip Mic, is an essential component for turning network speakers into a complete public address system, with 12 configurable buttons allowing broadcast across multiple zones. Like all Axis products, it’s based on open standards, so can be simply connected to other solutions and systems, and scaled up or down as required.

AV companies that have embraced IP solutions are seeing an increase in projects due to their ability to provide audio technology that can be connected to a network, with all of the benefits this brings to the customer. Fully flexible, and with the ability to enable delivery of consistent messaging, IP audio even has benefits of being able to free up staff across industries and sectors to focus on other tasks, confident that the installed audio system can take care of any announcements that would previously have been a time consuming and manual task using analogue technology. IP audio will continue to evolve and develop as a true example of innovation for a smarter, safer world.

Learn more about IP audio from Axis Communications.

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