It’s 2021 and it’s time for a different approach to security. Audio technology, once viewed as a nice-to-have-but-not-necessary component in a security solution, has shown its value by providing an operational benefit across a large number of industries. In short, audio has become essential for optimal security.
The time for audio to take its rightful place — not just as an add-on, but as an essential element of surveillance — is now.
Putting Things into Perspective
To get an idea of how important audio is, let’s consider our five senses. We use each one for a reason and they are equally valuable when it comes to interpreting the world around us. Take one sense away, or ignore multiple senses, and you’re at an immediate and significant handicap.
The same holds true in the realm of security and surveillance. Too often, the focus is put on video alone, while the sister sense — audio — is forgotten.
Using video without audio is like living in a silent movie. And, you can’t solve 21st century surveillance duties by limiting yourself to 20th century capabilities.
Now audio’s value is put into perspective, let’s take a look at some operational benefits.
One key benefit of audio monitoring comes from its ability to increase the chances of detecting a cause for an alarm, while reducing the occurrence of false alarms.
When combined with video security, audio provides secondary verification. This is especially useful in the case of an emergency, robbery, security threat, or other intrusion. Companies can both see and hear what’s going on.
Think about that for a moment. How many headaches caused by false alarms could you avoid just by using audio technology?
This secondary verification allows security monitors to assess situations in real time, confirm the event, and pass the data along to first responders to better prepare them for the incident taking place.
Deterrence and Prevention
Network-based two-way audio systems compliment video by allowing security staff to remotely interact with suspicious persons in real-time. Instead of sending a guard to the location in question, you can remotely interact with suspicious persons.
Imagine: Instead of having a physical guard present in every location, personnel can (with less staff) monitor multiple sensitive zones and better identify threats. This would make it possible to quickly respond with verbal warnings and directions.
Beyond Security: Other Ways Audio Improves Business Operations
When it comes to an organization’s most fundamental security needs, audio is critical. However, there are other ways to use audio to benefit organizations.
- Monitoring Key Customer Service Points: Audio can be used to monitor entry and exit points at schools, rail yards, and warehouses. By extension, any place where there is a constant flow of goods and people would be a good fit for audio. In this case, audio can be used as a visitor management tool to confirm the identity of people entering the premises. It can also be used to confirm that shipments were delivered.
- Loss Prevention: Equipping businesses with audio monitoring can also help them in their loss prevention efforts, ensuring that employees are not stealing from the organization.
- Training: Audio is also useful for providing employee training. For example, a local fast-food chain may want to use audio monitoring to ensure that employees are taking orders correctly or to help resolve a customer dispute.
- Conflict Resolution: Audio technology can also improve employee and customer relations by generating recordings that are used to resolve disputes.
By now, the value proposition of audio in security should be clear. With technology rapidly progressing as fast as it has in the security industry, it’s time to consider how audio can benefit you and your organization’s security solution. Just by adding audio, you can better detect, prevent, and deter crimes faster, more efficiently, and more intelligently.
What do you think? Are you a security professional who uses audio? Tell us about your experiences below.