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Biamp Upgrades Vocia Paging Platform

Biamp Systems introduced release 1.2 of Vocia, the company's paging and life safety system.

Biamp Vocia

Biamp Vocia

Biamp Systems introduced release 1.2 of Vocia, the company's paging and life safety system. Vocia was originally introduced a year ago at Integrated Systems Europe 2010. The system is compliant with stringent life safety standards such as EN 54-16, a European product standard. , Company officials said Vocia 1.2 offers improved scalability for integration into almost any size facility and now includes control and notification options that make it possible to remotely monitor the system's health.

"We are proud of the fact that Vocia was one of the first products ever to obtain EN 54-16 product certification and is approved to work in installations requiring EN 60849 and AS 60849 system certification," said Steve Metzger, president of Biamp Systems, in a statement. "Vocia 1.2 adds even greater flexibility when designing a critical paging system so that our customers can develop and build highly flexible solutions with a rich collection of features and functionality for their very important projects."

Vocia incorporates intelligibility, distributed processing, page routing, and networked audio and control, which features not often found in typical life safety systems, according to Biamp. Vocia's networked approach eliminates a single point of system failure, allowing for decentralized design and a system that is expandable from a single paging station and amplifier to a more complex paging system across several zones and multiple buildings.

Among the Vocia 1.2 upgrades is the enhanced Life Safety Interface device (LSI-16e), an emergency interface that communicates between Vocia and emergency/fire alarm systems. The LSI-16e device expands the number of discrete emergency zones from four to 20, adding 16 additional option inputs and up to 500 virtual inputs, 50 emergency zones, and 10 emergency messages per zone. Biamp says the LSI-16e software makes it possible to trigger a warning message followed by an emergency message and assign up to nine emergency messages and one additional mute to each emergency zone.

Vocia 1.2 also includes an Interface Module card (IM-16) that can be added to the current Life Safety Interface device to expand the number of emergency zones; an aux port on each of the paging stations that allows third-party control systems via RS232 connection, access to all standard paging control functionalities and the ability to select paging destinations on-the-fly from a visual facilities map; and an EN 54-16 compliant Emergency Wall Station microphone (EWS-10).

Company officials say Vocia 1.2 also offers new notification options in the event of an emergency. With the remote monitoring capabilities, Vocia 1.2 can be programmed to notify administrators via e-mail whenever an event triggers an alarm. This feature is for facility and security managers of multicampus organizations, or buildings where on-site access is limited.

The upgrade incorporates enhanced software control by expanding the abilities of the Vocia Text Protocol (VTP), which allows users to restart specified devices and change zone parameters such as volume, source selection, and mute.

"Critical paging systems play a vital role in the most highly trafficked venues in North America," said Ron Camden, vice president of Biamp's North American sales, in a statement. "At the same time, facilities of varying sizes, down to the local shopping mall, also rely on critical paging systems and demand a product that will work every time and that will clearly communicate messages."

Vocia 1.2 software is available immediately and new products will ship by February 1, according to the company.

 


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