It is no surprise that we are living in an era of a connected world. The revolution that has transpired as a result of the introduction of the smart phone has not only transformed the traditional mobile phone market but has also seen the application “app” era take full effect. With digital content at its prime and with a focus on convenience, smart phones and tablets have enjoyed a seamless integration into daily life, to the extent that they are now increasingly being relied upon for purposes beyond staying in touch and finding information.
Similarly in the intercom and security industry, we have seen a huge leap into the IP networking game with the rampant market uptake of IP cameras and IP ready alarms. It was only a matter of time before there was a demand for the intercom to be IP enabled and fully IP compliant. Simply put, a connected world requires a connected intercom.
More and more home owners and, in particular, apartment owners and residents want to be able to answer a call from their intercom on their smart phone or tablet and be able to do so while they are inside their apartment or while away from home. Residents appreciate value-adds and being able to use the intercom as more than just a doorbell is one.
The allure of convenience that is at your finger-tips, of a fully functional, integrated system allowing for added features such as home automation, mobile connectivity, climate control, audio streaming and energy monitoring among those looking for an apartment is hard to ignore. Within this lies the opportunity for developers to take such functionality into account when choosing the ideal intercom system for their development. Intercom systems are no longer just about security. They are about transforming the apartment living experience, about connectivity, about providing a platform to bring together other systems and services that altogether embody the ‘smart’ and ‘contemporary’ living that new residential developments are often touted as offering.
From a developer’s perspective, not only do these systems offer a point of differentiation, IP intercom systems can form the foundation for your development’s home automation offering, whether it is simple lighting control, HVAC control and/or blind control. These systems are also suitable for both small and large developments given that they allow more than one conversation in the system, provide greater options for apartment stations (4”, 7” and 10” screens), and are not limited to any number of stations in the apartment (which are also able to act as your home automation portal).
In our view, the installation of such systems over GPon networks in particular, is the future of the intercom in the residential apartment building market. Overlaying the intercom network on a fibre backbone reduces the requirement for copper cabling throughout and limits it to apartment reticulation. This in turn reduces riser space, reduces active equipment in the risers and makes the building more green as a whole. Intercom is not the only service that can be offered with FTTA (fibre to the apartment) but MATV/Foxtel services can also be applied in addition to data/telephony, access control and CCTV.
At Urmet Australia, we have been involved in some of the largest IP intercom system installations in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Our IP systems offer diversion to smart phone and tablet via the internet in addition to the standard features that come with our intercoms, such as integrated building security, lift release for visitors, CCTV integration, floor call and audio/video from all intercom entries. Our IPerVoice system is able to do this from within the unit or from the central concierge, while Urmet’s new 2Wire system, the 2Voice system, is able to do this through the easy to apply and cost-effective Call2U module.