Aiphone offers security communication systems providing versatile solutions for a range of industries. Our wide variety of reliable, high-quality products offers comprehensive security solutions for virtually any security need—large or small.
As leaders in our industry, it is our privilege to bring you perspectives and considerations from our pool of knowledgeable experts around topics related to technology, security, and business. Each week we will post new and timely answers to relevant topics.
Question of the Week: What is the most unique way you have seen an intercom used?
Author: Mikael Lavergne, Regional Sales Manager, Eastern Canada
A: Aiphone sold 130 IX-DV intercoms with 25 IX-MV7-HB master stations to five hospitals within the same Canadian province. These intercoms met two different needs concerning the Covid-19 pandemic. The first need met was accommodating patient interviews with doctors and nurses between a plexiglass barrier. To protect the health of their workers, the hospital uses the IX-DVs to speak to the patient, and to record the patient interview. This reduces the risk of exposure to Covid-19. An added benefit is the healthcare team has access to the interview footage afterwards, if needed.
The IX Series is also used in Covid-19 patient rooms. The protocol for healthcare employees to access a Covid-19 patient room is a very complex and time-consuming process due to the need to put on protective gear. With a shortage of doctors and nurses, this makes the process even more of a burden for staffing and impacts quality patient care.
By utilizing the IX-DV intercom, the number of doctors and nurses entering Covid-19 patient rooms are reduced by nearly half.
With ceiling–mount brackets, the IX-DVs were installed in front of patient beds to accommodate the best view possible. Another helpful feature of the IX Series was the background noise control feature. This makes it easier to hear patients clearly, regardless of the excess noise from medical equipment running in the room. It was important that the intercom could be can initiated remotely from the master station.
Question of the Week: What are some benefits of using intercom over telephone?
Author: Tom Ragona, Senior Sales Representative
A: Intercoms used over a PSTN (public switch telephone network) provide additional capabilities that a traditional intercom does not. Now with IP intercoms you can directly interface via SIP (session initiation protocol) to an enterprise PBX (private branch exchange) which is the customer’s phone system. This gives you a host of new benefits. For example, emergency intercoms can be configured to dial either a 10-digit phone number or an extension on the customers phone system to ring an employee’s desk phone. Getting dial tone to call out allows an emergency station to call 911, a remote monitoring service, or remote staff of any kind.
Integrating with the customer’s phone system gives you the capability to reduce on-premises hardware and repurpose existing devices, such as existing IP phones. With the ability to use an intercom over a phone system, it opens the opportunity for more in-depth projects and to meet additional code requirements necessary for emergency use and life safety. A traditional door station at an office building can now call people who are not necessarily in the building or within the network itself. A person can receive a call anywhere in the world—whether they have internet or not—if they have phone service.
Author: Mike Lawrusik, System Sales Specialist
A: While both telephones and intercoms can be used to call for help, intercoms provide much more versatility. They can be as simple as point–to–point audio communication at the press of a single button, or as complex as the project requires. Intercoms provide the possibility of integration with access control systems, CCTV systems, paging systems, and NVR systems to help enhance any security system. Intercoms also force people to identify themselves before granted entry, which provides another layer of security that telephones do not.
Author: Joy Sweet, Senior Manager Technical and Customer Service
A: Intercom vs. Telephone Uni-lateral communication for greater security
The most important differentiation is that if you are going to use a telephone-based system, you must enlist telephony technology to assign a unique phone number to each of the devices that you want to communicate. To make a call, it needs to dial out; to receive a call, someone needs to answer. Using this telephone infrastructure has fees associated to it, not to mention dialing out means one must listen to the phone ringing on either side until someone picks up.
With an intercom, there is a direct connection between two locations. No third-party services or additional fees are required to make the system work. Another huge advantage to an intercom system is the monitoring feature. An inside station can call up any number of perimeter stations and just listen to what is going on at that location, with no one needing to pick up to “answer the call.” This is especially useful in security applications, where a security guard may spot something on a camera, and then can select the associated intercom station to listen to what is going on in that area. The audio opens immediately with no intervention on the other end. This doesn’t happen with a telephone-based system where the other end must answer.
Intercoms can be the “eyes and ears” over a wide range of areas, accessible easily and quickly from any location where someone oversees protecting the area. With no monthly fees and ease of operation, it is the clear choice for communication in applications from residential to commercial environments.
Author: Charles McGaughey, Regional Sales Representative
A: Many office phones do not typically have video capabilities. There are many times a charge for a phone line.
People abuse the phone and make outside calls with it. Cord can be yanked and pulled breaking the phone.
Question of the Week: What is the importance of having UL certification when selecting an intercom?
Author: Spencer Britenstine, Director of Sales South
A: The UL certification is widely known and has become the accepted quality assurance stamp of approval across many products over the years. Intercoms are no different. End–users, installers, and inspectors have relied on this identification to ensure the products they are buying and installing meet the requirements for a safe, quality purchase. While intercom is low voltage, which inherently means there is a lower risk of electrical danger, it’s reassuring to know that the intercom being installed has passed the UL requirements. This UL certification can apply to power supplies as well as individual products.
Author: Josh Hentz, Regional Sales Representative: DE, E. PA, MD, S. NJ, VA & DC
A: The importance of having a UL certification when selecting an intercom is safety and peace of mind!
The UL (Underwriters Laboratory) is responsible for research, standards, and inspecting the processes and materials of most electronics around the world, including intercoms. Some people are not aware of the Underwriters Laboratory, or if you pick up any electronic in your home, there should be a UL label stamped on it. With this label comes peace of mind. You can trust the material was built to meet—or exceed the standards of safety involving electronics to reduce hazards, such as electrical fires or personal injury. It must have the UL label to go in my home!
Author: Charles McGaughey
A: This would be determined by the AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction). Some state that products must be UL approved while others don’t care. The dealer needs to know the attitude of the AHJ.