Axis Network Audio Solutions Provide Proactive Security and More

Axis Communications
(Image credit: Axis Communications)

Sponsored Content from Axis Communications

Headquartered in Lund, Sweden, with $1.2 billion in sales annually, Axis Communications, Inc. is the leader in security surveillance solutions. In the U.S. we employ more than 600 employees and operate 12 Axis Experience Centers across the country, so prospective customers and integrators can get hands-on demos of some of the industry’s best surveillance solutions as well as hands-on training courses and use of office space for meetings. 

But we’re not just about video. 

About seven years ago, Axis entered the audio security market with a network horn speaker. Since then, we’ve added a mini-speaker, cabinet speakers, in-ceiling and pendant speakers, and more. With PoE connectivity, installation is simple because you don’t need dedicated audio cables, and the system can utilize existing networks. Audio remains an important focus for security and communications solutions, and our audio business continues to grow dramatically. 

With our AXIS Audio Manager Edge software, which is built into every audio device, we’ve taken the intelligence out of an analog rack and moved it to the speakers. AXIS Audio Manager Edge is a free perpetual license offered in all our speakers and offers audio programming and configuration for systems of up to 200 speakers and 20 zones. AXIS Audio Manager Pro is server or e-license based available for larger, more complex installations of up to 5,000 speakers and 100 zones. 

Both deliver “smart” audio configuration software. You can schedule messages to play at specific times, remotely set up zones and priorities and even remotely check the health of devices by sending a tone to make sure each speaker is operational. Add to that built-in microphones for two-way communications, DSP to ensure the audio is crystal clear, built-in programmable LEDs, PIRs in specific models and I/Os to trigger other devices, and you can see and hear the difference Axis audio offers. Have an existing analog system you’d like to integrate with an Axis network audio solution? No problem, we have migration devices for those applications too … and our open IP platform also allows integrations with other third-party devices and building systems. 

While video surveillance can be a deterrent for unauthorized activity, arguably its strongest use case is as a reactive forensic system in an unmonitored scenario. Basically, once someone has engaged in illegal behavior, video evidence can help identify the suspect and document their activities. In contrast, a surveillance system with a “smart” audio component has proven to be a very effective deterrent. 

For example, call outs in a monitored scenario are particularly effective in deterring criminal activity. What happens if you are in a remote area and you hear someone say, “You are not authorized to be in this area and you are under surveillance?” Chances are you will look right at the camera, providing security personnel with a clear view for identification. Then, you’ll leave—quickly—because you know your potentially criminal behavior is being documented and authorities will likely be called. 

Sometimes, proactive audio deterrence is less about preventing criminal behavior and more about modifying bad behavior. In one hospital, for example, nurses were using an emergency exit as a shortcut for leaving the building during a break. Every time that door was opened (or, worse yet, propped open), it provided an opportunity for unauthorized personnel to enter the building. 

Plus, security was notified and were required to make sure the doors were secured every time. Considering the frequency with which nurses were using the emergency exit, it became a tremendous time burden on the security team. 

Audio call outs solved the problem. When a person triggered the speaker’s integrated PIR, they were instructed to use an authorized exit via a live or recorded announcement. With the vocal warning, improper use of the emergency exit was reduced to practically nothing. That translated to real cost savings and improved safety, and let security focus its attention on other areas that required it. 

Whether the message is prerecorded or live (accentuated with a description of clothing or other identifiable traits), audio call outs turn a reactive forensic security system into a proactive deterrent solution. From criminal behavior to parking violations, an audio component as part of an overall surveillance strategy can deter bad behavior before it happens. Plus, live monitoring of audio and video surveillance can deliver recurring monthly revenue (RMR) opportunities for integrators. 

Axis network audio solutions are perfect for public address and intercom applications as well. Whether used for paging, scheduled announcements, alerts, mass communications, marketing messages, background music, or more—you can count on reliable, clear, and secure sound. With Axis, you get communications by day and proactive security by night. Learn more by visiting our website or contacting your local Axis representative at 800-444-2947. If you are attending InfoComm, visit us at Booth #5450 by scheduling a booth tour, or stop by for a chance to win an Axis camera, speaker, and software license.

Chris Wildfoerster

Chris Wildfoerster, a 30-year veteran in audio and control systems, is the program manager of audio solutions for Axis Communications.