2 Way Audio Communication Using An IP Camera

Does anyone have experience using an IP camera with 2 way audio? We are looking for a solution to avoid the expense of an extra intercom system.

Hi Sam, I don't have a ton of comments on field deployments, but I've lab tested a couple. In general, most cameras have worked fine, at least when using external mics/speakers. I have not used many with built-in mics. If you're looking for an intercom system, I think the key sticking point may be what sort of functionality the VMS and/or camera offers for operator push-to-talk. Some will simply leave the mic and speaker always active.

I can tell you that a few members have used the Louroe AOP-SP-PB, which is a pushbutton callbox which integrates with line in/speaker out ports in IP cameras, and had good things to say about it. We also have a gneral update on audio integration to surveillance, if that's of interest to you.

Hello, Sam:

Are you looking for bi-directional or uni-directional audio support?

More precisely, the application is to have 2 way comms initiated after 3 failed attempts to read a credential by the access control system. At that point we want the PACS to initiate a call to security ops center. The officer in the SOC will engage the person who will be instructed to place the credential, which will have a photo, in a holder which is viewed by one camera. Another camera is placed to view the credential holder. The officer has to be able to verify that the credential photo matches the person presenting it. It is a virtual guard system. These are truck gates with lots of ambient noise and exposed to all weather conditions. an internal mic and speaker would be ideal, but are there any that can stand up to the environment?

Wow. There is a bunch of integration going on in that situation!

Look at Stentofon's PULSE platform: (http://ipvm.com/updates/1474)

It is an intercom system that needs no central server or licensing for less than 16 stations.

Now, there is a whole mess of other details to consider - is your PACS going to be the primary interface used by the SOC officers? The VMS?

At some point, pulling together the logical rules into software is going to be a big job. Sounds like a fun project!

Thanks for all the helpful info. Indeed this is an intresting project. Some details I am not able to share right now, but keep those suggestions coming! Pulse looks great but there will be 25-30 stations, the SOC and a back up SOC. PACS will have to be the starting point for imput that triggers the communication between the gate and the SOC.

I'm an IT guy, and here is my experience with video intercoms:

I use a an IP intercom system from AIPHONE. It does not integrate with my camera system, it is seperate. But is does use IP & POE, so it is easy to expand and install. I only have 4 door stations, but two are over 1 mile away. Security guard can view the person and remote open a gate. Pretty slick.

No central server, just the 4 IS-IPDV door stations connected via IP to an IS-IPMV master station. They have additional addons that I'm not interested in. I had my integrator mount the IS-IPDV's and hook up the the door unlock contacts to the door/gate. I did all the networking and master station programming. My integrator is a tad weak with networking and it was just easier & faster for me to do that part.

I'm no expert, but it seems to easily scale to 32 door stations. There also seems to be the ability to have multiple sites and epand up to 1024 devices.

Perhaps you could use this type of system to autodial after the 3 failed access attempts. Use a CCTV system to get a good images of their credentials.

Brainstorming a bit: You could simply attach a contact from your reader to your IP CCTV camrea that will alarm on credential failure. Then the guard can interact from there.

I don't have time to post a ton of details, but I've had some success using P series Axis camera with 2 way audio with Genetec Omnicast and Security Center. Using keyboard or joystick inputs you can toggle the software audio channels on and off for either uni or bi-directional audio (I've seen more issues with mic feedback with true bi-directional audio.

Btw, our section on intercoms/audio may continue some useful resources.