As humans, our connection to the world around us is based on our senses. Only with the help of sight, sound, taste, and smell are we able to interact with our surroundings, navigate and stay safe and secure.

We have started to replicate the capabilities of those senses through technology, in the form of surveillance systems: video surveillance cameras being sight, with microphones and audio as the sound. 

What also adds value is the ability to communicate verbally based on what we’ve seen and heard. In the world of surveillance technology, network audio speakers provide this channel.

The human voice is particularly crucial when we’re in danger or facing threats as it allows us to send out a warning to those around us, or direct them to safety. Network audio can also play that role.

But audio isn’t only valuable in enhancing safety and security. It can also support operational efficiency across various industry sectors. Network audio can be used creatively in a variety of different ways, such as to create an atmosphere by broadcasting background music or share marketing messaging. 

How network audio elevates security

Installing network speakers and other audio technology helps reactive surveillance become a proactive tool in crime deterrence and security.

Once a camera spots an undesirable activity – such as vandalism, trespassing, or parking violations – a live or pre-recorded message can be played to allow an intervention in real time. This fast response can possibly help to stop illegal activities completely or before severe damage is done, and is one of the main use cases for audio in a security context. 

Reducing the number of incidents can mean less downtime for a business, prevention of theft, fewer man hours required to fix damage and vandalism and, potentially, reduce insurance costs and more.

Lee Health: Easing liability concerns with intelligent surveillance

With four acute care locations, two specialty hospitals, and over 30 non-acute care locations, Lee Health is one of the largest medical providers in the state of Florida. The organization provides care for more than a million patients a year and needed a surveillance system that could keep its facilities secure and provide organizational support. Because Lee Health manages secure facilities, individuals loitering near fire exits is a major concern. After installing new cameras with audio and analytic capabilities, they were able to achieve 100% compliance within a week and this new system worked better than the signage that was previously used. The organization also utilizes additional intelligence options to enable advanced audio analytics at the edge, such as aggression detection and other smart threat detection applications to further secure its patients, staff, and facilities. 

Safe and sound

Apart from the level of security that can be improved by playing the right sounds and messages, audio solutions can also contribute to the safety of individuals in a location. Being able to speak to people to protect them can be an even more effective option than putting up warning signs or other visual factors. 

Messages played via network audio speakers can not only communicate with a large number of people simultaneously, for example, in case of an emergency, but also provide useful safety information. For instance, it could play reminders of social distancing rules during the recent pandemic or assisting with crowd management. 

Binghamton University: Safe education with network speakers

The Binghamton University needed an advanced security system for its campus which has grown significantly to around 120 buildings. Adding speakers throughout the campus allows the university to communicate with students, as well as directly address those intent on crime or other prohibited behavior. By connecting the new speakers to the emergency notification system, it is also possible for the university to quickly evacuate the whole campus, utilizing an integrated mass communication system. The solution provides the flexibility to broadcast announcements in specific zones, providing students with location-relevant information and contributing to a safer campus.

Improving operational efficiency through network audio

In addition to safety and security, network audio can also contribute to increased operational efficiencies and commercial performance in various sectors, such as retail stores.

In-store advertisements and news about special offers in shops as well as atmospheric background music have been shown to be effective in improving sales and the customer experience, while directing employees quickly to certain areas of the store to support customer needs. The options are endless and not limited to the size or number of areas that need to be targeted because of zoning features. 

The retail supply chain can also benefit from the use of network audio, in the context of safety, for the prevention of crime.

RC Willey: Furnishing loss prevention and business intelligence

RC Willey, a large home furnishing chain, has been using network surveillance solutions in its distribution centers and retail stores for years, and wanted to add audio and analytics technologies to have an even greater impact on their bottom line. From a loss prevention perspective, since deploying the audio solution at its Las Vegas distribution center, theft and vandalism have dropped from $40-50K a year to zero and they’ve saved $100K a year on private security. 

Audio adds value to surveillance systems

Network audio is a versatile technology that can deliver many benefits. As shown in the use cases above, audio speakers can not only prevent crime, but they can also keep people safe in multiple environments and help to optimize customer experience and business efficiency. Plus, they’re easy to install, cost-effective and highly flexible.