The famous musician Isaac Stern once said, “A [music] conductor has to know how to translate music into a communicative force that makes the listener want to hear what he has to say.”
Imagine sitting down for a musical performance that you have been anticipating for many months to attend. You see the instruments, the performance stage, theatrical lighting, and more. The conductor has completed the task of preparing his musicians for the performance through long hours and hard work, in the hopes of making you, the listener, want to hear what he and his musical team want to express through the music.
Except you can’t hear the performance, or it is distorted, or the audio quality is so poor that you can’t enjoy it.
There are other audio-related situations similar to that within our everyday lives: for example, someone who takes a train ride and sees places and locations pass by in a window but doesn’t hear vital instructions and therefore does not arrive at their desired destination. Even more, a situation that we all likely have experienced with our new working situations: being in a virtual meeting and being able to see our colleagues, but not able to hear their words, due to poor audio quality.
Let There Be Good Sound
The same audio challenges apply to security and safety situations.
Most enterprise security teams today have a vast amount of technology to mitigate threats and reduce risk. Those technology solutions include IP video surveillance and access control.
Access control can be thought of as the brains of a security system by holding data and permissions. It serves as the arms and hands of the system; it can either keep someone out or give them access and allow them in.
IP video can allow a security team to remotely position a set of eyes anywhere an IP camera can be placed on a network. With a video management system, security teams can see what is happening and decide how to respond. Yet, while “a picture is worth a thousand words,” video often only tells half the story. The operator or security guard may miss the event, the video may not catch the event, or the event may be over by the time security responds.
A security team that relies on video to capture all events and mitigate threats is relying on an out-of-date strategy. They are missing out on the opportunity to capture voice and audio, which is something that humans instinctively respond to and have since birth.
Enterprise security teams need the ability to see, and they need good sound—sound that is clear, intelligible, and understood, every time. Only then can security teams acquire actionable business intelligence, increase operational efficiency, and mitigate safety and security risks.
Good Sound in Security
What are some examples within enterprise security where “good sound” and high-definition audio can help security teams to reduce security risks?
In manufacturing plants, high-definition audio solutions ensure that plant operators can communicate to the entire plant or to selected zones. The perimeter can be protected via automated messages if an alarm is triggered.
In buildings and facilities, audio and intelligent communication solutions can provide instant communication in an elevator, at loading docks, at the reception desk, and in parking garages, to help employees, visitors, or vendors who need it.
In hospitals, audio and intelligent communication solutions can allow access and crystal-clear communication to restricted areas, cleanrooms, and isolation rooms. They can also allow quarantined patients in isolation rooms to communicate with staff without the risk of infecting others.
In retail stores, instant voice communication is the key to delivering a quality customer experience, and intercom solutions and speakers can assist customers, help security guards to perform their jobs better, and enable communication between office staff and sales personnel.
HD voice solutions in prisons provide audio and video assistance for visitors, cell communications, and with prison management systems to enhance a guard’s insight into situations and events.
Beyond security, audio and intelligent communication solutions can improve enterprise business operations. For example:
- Customer Service: Delivery drivers can alert building personnel, via audio and video with an intercom, that a shipment was delivered.
- Training: Audio and intelligent communication solutions can assist with employee training. For example, a patient who seeks access to a medical center for an appointment can hear important instructions from a nurse (and the nursing student) via the intercom solution
No matter the situation – every day or within enterprise security teams – intelligent security solutions should deliver “good” sound and allow for the ability to hear, be heard, and be understood, in every situation.
This article originally ran in Security, a twice-monthly security-focused eNewsletter for security end users, brought to you by Security Magazine. Subscribe here.