Article by Gary Snyder
While video surveillance and access control are often seen as the work horses of your security systems, they leave a gap in situational awareness that is best filled through the inclusion of audio monitoring. Sound provides crucial evidence, not only capturing information about security events but also about the motives behind the actions captured on camera.
Like video surveillance, audio monitoring devices offer many advantages, from additional evidence capture to alarm verification to improved response. As a result, many organizations have begun to realize the importance of integrating audio into existing security systems.
Benefits Of Audio
When audio is paired with video surveillance, additional evidence is gained, providing more details about a suspect or situation. Voices, names, and statements are just a few examples of additional information that can be crucial for staff or first responders as they assess intent and threat level.
Video cameras are effective surveillance tools, but they are not able to capture everything. Integrating audio can automatically flag incidents not caught on camera, and alert staff of potential security threats.
In addition to detection, audio monitoring enables the opportunity to prevent a situation before it happens. By utilizing two-way audio to speak to an individual remotely in real-time, a trespasser can be dissuaded from vandalizing the property or committing other crimes.
In addition to audio monitoring and detection, audio analytics are quickly being adopted as an additional measure of detecting and qualifying specific threats, and generating alerts to facilitate an appropriate and timely response, including lockdowns and mass notification.
Audio analytics can include classification of screams, gunshots, explosions, breaking glass, or other specific audio events, using a camera’s internal microphone or an externally connected microphone.
Scream detection is capable of accurately recognizing a scream or duress in a person’s voice and generating an alert or alarm, helping to prevent acts of physical aggression before they happen.
A gunshot detector recognizes firearm discharge from various firearms in different settings. Within seconds of a gunshot, the software can accurately classify a gunshot and the specific location, and trigger an immediate notification. The alert can then be verified and quickly acted upon to trigger lockdown protocols and effectively reduce reaction time of first responders.
Audio Monitoring and the Law
The benefits of integrating audio monitoring and sound detection are easily understood, but before any of these systems are put in place, privacy considerations with regard to federal, state, or local laws need to be fully understood and accommodated.
Audio monitoring and audio analytics continues to see strong adoption and can be an important part of a complete security solution.