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Industry Insights

The Evolution of Mass Notification Systems Part 2

August 22, 2011
Author: Joel Griffin

Voice intelligibility's role in modern day MNS solutions

The issue of voice intelligibility in mass notification systems has become more important as the technology has evolved.

Editor's note: This is part two of a two part series on the topic of mass notification systems. Part one, which examines emerging technologies, markets and implementation challenges for MNS, was published earlier this month.

At one time, the issue of voice intelligibility in mass notification systems was an afterthought. In the early years of the technology, the goal was to simply notify the populace of a designated area that an emergency event was occurring and in the case of an air raid or fire, this was usually accomplished through the use of a loud siren.

As the times have changed, however, mass notification technology, including voice intelligibility; have had to change with them. Modern day case studies show that certain situations, such as an active-shooter scenario or severe storm, require the use of voice messages to direct people to take specific actions.

Though voice intelligibility was not a big focus for MNS manufacturers at one time, Mark Kurtzrock, president and CEO of mass notification systems manufacturer Metis Secure Solutions, says that more people in the industry now realize the benefits of having voice warnings that are easy to understand.

"Initially, I think it was not a factor that people had considered. But, as more and more products have come on the market and more regulations have been put into place... quite frankly it seemed like an obvious solution that people hadn't focused much attention on," Kurtzrock explained. "It's not just about sending one message. Circumstances change, events are very dynamic and the ability to communicate clear information to people on an ongoing basis is really important. "

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