In the years following 9/11, office intercom systems transformed from mere communication devices to a vital part of a building’s security infrastructure. They were interfaced with video cameras, access control systems, facial recognition, alarms and alerts, and monitoring systems to safeguard workplaces from intruders and terrorists. Physical security was on top of everyone’s mind. And intercom systems provided an obvious and simple solution.
Fast forward to 2020, and the pandemic is causing another quantum shift in how the world thinks about security. This time around, businesses are responsible for protecting their workplaces and people from an invisible intruder. As SARS-CoV-2 continues to disrupt businesses and economies, video intercom systems are once again on the frontline of security. But this time, the intercom has the force of modern technology on its side.
Video intercom systems today
Gone are the days of fixed intercom systems that consisted of metallic faceplates with a bunch of commonly touched buttons, hardwired into the building and connected via landlines to fixed tenant stations. Today’s intercom systems are sleek integrated devices with touchscreen displays, cloud-managed directories, and wireless connectivity. Their modern features make them capable of protecting employees and visitors from seen and unseen threats. For example:
SIP and WebRTC technologies have expanded the reach of office intercom systems regular landlines, smartphones, and browsers
VoIP protocols have fueled the growth of IP video intercom systems that only need a power and internet connection to call people around the world
Cloud-based intercom systems are interfaced with access control systems that allow security teams to schedule automatic entry for delivery and cleaning crews
Video intercoms are also integrated with facial recognition and mobile access control to provide more robust security
Let’s see how video intercom systems can help ensure everyone’s safety in line with the COVID safety recommendations and regulations.
Use of video intercom systems eliminates the need for face-to-face interaction with visitors. A modern video wireless intercom system supports a work-from-home culture, where employees can speak to visitors and other employees via smartphones sitting right at their homes.Office teams can admit guests, deliveries and cleaning services remotely. Video intercoms that are built into access control systems can be used for entry surveillance to ensure that a distance of 6 feet is maintained between individuals while they enter the workplace.
Cloud-based 4 wire video intercom and access control systems have the capacity to integrate remote health screening for building occupants and visitors. A health check is provided through the app prior to arrival. This can be as simple as recording temperature (at-home temperature checks are considered best practices by the CDC) or as in-depth as completing a questionnaire. One submitted entry can be granted or denied based on risk.