Audio or Audio/Video Intercoms should be a part of every security implementation, effective processing of visitors, welcome or unwelcome is an essential front line of defense. Nationwide, many businesses are locking their entry doors to protect their employees and maintain business continuity. For the sake of clarity (no pun) when I use the term “intercom” it may refer to audio only or audio & video combined.
Up until the Internet of Things (IoT), commercial intercoms have been boring, old fashion in functionality and appearance, I am pleased to say this is no longer true.
Legacy Analog Systems
As a veteran of the security industry, I cut my teeth on the old analog systems offered by companies like Aiphone & Bogen, each very reliable but difficult to install in medium to large scale deployments. They required an extensive parts list; assortments of specialty multi-conductor cables, master stations, sub stations, interconnections to access control relays, power supplies and paper labels to name a few. Execution & deployment of these types of systems required project managers to produce extensive schematics/shop drawings and procurement to order an exhaustive list of parts. If all is done properly you could count on a reliable system for many years to come however, they are typically very difficult to service, especially if you were not the original installer. Integration with other systems such as CCTV were cumbersome, requiring I/O wiring and cross connecting, further complicating the installation and service thereof.
“Hats off” to companies like Aiphone who implemented camera sub stations and audio/video masters early on, they were reliable and innovative, but expandability was very limited.
IP Based Systems
With the advent of IP, Intercom manufactures, including ones that I mentioned above, have revolutionized their capabilities, quality, ease of installation and usage. European based companies like Stentofon and 2N have developed products that not only look awesome but allow a broader range of communications over the Internet and/or locally onsite using your existing phone set and iPBX phone system. Amazing flexibility and adaptability!
2N offers a Cloud Based solution to allow call traffic to be distributed to mobile phone users, desktop, and tablets. Programming the directory with hundreds of names and numbers is easily accomplished with a valid credential in any common web browser. 2N has also modularized their product line to accommodate card readers of all varieties including Bluetooth. Their units are compact with clean lines and 2 color choices. Additionally, they make surface mounted back boxes that apply to storefront glass doorways, allowing the convenience of mounting the intercom on or close to the door for easy use by visitors. You can add a card reader module to the configuration for an “all in one” interface for your card holders and visitors.
Stentofon is another high-quality European Intercom manufacturer that produces a wide range of IP based products that easily and virtually integrate with many large-scale access control deployments.
Tight intercom integrations, allow visitors to be verified along with Guard interaction to open portals and gates which all support a well-executed security plan. Since many of their products are designed for marine environments and go aboard large vessels, they are very durable and produce incredible clarity in high ambient noise environments. S3 uses Stentofon Turbine intercoms for controlling gates in large industrial facilities where tractor trailer operators can still be heard clearly over the engine noise.
How to Learn More?
If you would like to learn more about intercoms and their far-reaching capabilities, please contact your local S3 Integration office. S3 has invested in this expertise for your benefit and welcome an opportunity to be of service.