Audio monitoring has been a misunderstood topic among security industry professionals for many years, with few understanding the immense benefits the audio in security systems is able to provide. Many also misconceive the legality of audio monitoring as precarious and vague. Not only is it lawful, however, it is also now widely embraced as an effective tool for safety and security efforts in all 50 states. Granted, each state has its own set of regulations—but there is no reason system integrators should shy away from audio.
That said, audio monitoring technology is nothing new. In the past, verticals including hospitals, schools, law enforcement, and commercial and enterprise facilities have deployed some versions of audio for safety and security, such as loudspeakers, intercoms, two-way radios and duress buttons.
Today, audio in security systems has more than proven itself to be an indispensable tool with many applications.
How Far We’ve Come
This isn’t to say the journey to arrive here has been easy. For many years, the prevalent security system design excluded audio altogether, leaning on surveillance cameras and central observation stations that used built-in microphones in cameras at best, sacrificing situational awareness for simplicity. Until recently, the only alternative to this approach was external analog devices, which significantly improved situational awareness and extended more flexibility to system integrators but were not necessarily used to their full potential.
On top of this lack of awareness, as stated above, because so many industry professionals assumed audio monitoring was a largely illegal practice—many avoided it altogether.
Overcoming the Obstacles
Today, audio monitoring has not only been demystified, but technology has also evolved to offer security systems diverse and exciting new benefits. IP network audio solutions, for instance, are simple, cost-effective and powerful, all at once. Delivering security personnel superior situational awareness, critical insight into incident response, false alarm verification—the principal strengths of IP network audio solutions keep them top of mind.
Beyond the above benefits, new audio devices’ ability to enable contactless communications for healthcare facilities and other entities have also positioned audio devices as essential resources for health and safety, as well. Given the importance of COVID procedures and the push to invest in robust, reliable solutions—audio has risen to the challenge.
All in all, a report by Juniper Research estimates that sales of smart audio devices will top $10 billion in 2022, with even more growth projected beyond 2022. Suffice it to say, the future for audio is bright.
Where We’re Going
One thing is sure: The more systems integrators include audio in security systems, the further the technology will continue to develop. Shorter response times, expanded situational awareness, improved remote communications and access control are among the many ways we expect audio to develop, over the next few years.
Whether for security, banking, commercial, healthcare, law enforcement, retail or transportation applications—audio monitoring offers numerous benefits for surveillance, business optimization, health and safety measures and more.
Contact a Louroe representative to find out how audio will benefit your security system.