Network- connected audio technology is one element from the wider Internet of Things (IoT) that offers a good fit for smart security solutions. In several applications, the use of IP-connected audio can add value and deliver real benefits for end users. Audio delivers an additional layer to security systems, as it allows challenges to be made and instructions to be given remotely by a system operator. However, outside of security usage, the associated audio devices and systems can be used for a wide range of other tasks.

Audio challenge has been accepted as a powerful element in modern security solutions for many years now and was an instrumental element in allowing qualifying video surveillance systems to attract police first response. The ability of a system operator to verbally challenge intruders, using specific terms of reference as such as mentioning the colour of their clothing or giving details of what they have been doing, often results in the targets leaving the area with some urgency. Also, if a safety-related incident occurs, the system can be used to issue guidance to those in the area, such as managing an evacuation by giving real-time instructions.

Audio challenge can include public address announcements, welcome messages, help and call points, intercom functionality, background music etc. By considering the wider implementations of network-based audio, smart solutions enable customers to integrate the security solution with other business functions, thus creating the added value end users are seeking.

The use of audio for security solutions is one area where change is ongoing. Network-based audio is an ideal addition to a video-based solution. A good example is the use of audio-based notifications in perimeter protection implementations. Persons loitering near a boundary or seen tampering with fences can be warned off, and any direct trespass can result in a warning that the police have been notified. Where an intrusion of innocuous, such as children retrieving a ball or someone trying to catch a runaway dog, appropriate advice can be issued.

In today’s high-technology society, intelligence is at the centre of effective solutions. By adding network-based audio systems with intelligent functions, value is added to the overall system. Smart networked audio adds value, and therefore differentials forward-thinking integrators.