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Making Your School Safer and More Inclusive

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

It’s back to school time, and that means new school supplies, new clothes, new routines (and maybe a bit more quiet around the house). Parents will be dropping their children off at school, hoping that they will be learning in a physically and emotionally safe, and caring environment. It’s time for your school to start planning everything from field trips to new equipment and regulations. School budgets can be tight so it’s important to have affordable tech solutions that are easy to install and maintain. A wireless streaming device can have multiple uses for schools saving them money, time and perhaps even lives. 

Here are three ways an education audio streaming system could improve your school.

ACTIVE DANGER DRILLS

Parents and children have a right to expect that they are safe in school. Unfortunately, school safety has become an increasingly dominant factor in our educational institutions, and along with fire drills, schools now hold “active danger” drills

In an active danger drill, there can be a lot of noise and teachers need to hear what the issue is (fire, tornado, a crime, etc.) and get instructions. As part of any emergency procedure, it is of utmost importance that the administration and first responders are able to communicate directly and quietly with teachers. 

Of course, one way to do this is through text message, but this can become an organizational hassle as many carriers limit the amount of phone numbers that can be included in one text. A faster and clearer way to communicate with teachers and staff is by streaming audio over WiFi directly to their smart device. This way, all teachers are alerted at one time and can receive real-time instructions about the situation. 

FIELD TRIPS

While streaming audio may, hopefully, never be used in an emergency, it has further safety use on field trips. Using a personal PA system for teachers, students can be communicated with during travel or any time. Students wandering off or lagging behind can hear instructions about where to find the group. And if the group is inside a museum, library, or other quiet zone, this type of communication keeps the field trip from being distracting to others.

STUDENTS WITH HEARING LOSS

Each year many schools test students for hearing loss. Children may be born with hearing loss or it may develop from infection, disease or injury. Those children diagnosed with hearing loss need accommodations and assistance in hearing teachers, computer, and video lessons. For some children, being placed in the front row of the classroom may be enough to enable them to overcome minor hearing loss for learning. 

However, for others, an audio streaming assistive listening device would be helpful. Streaming audio can be offered to any child via iPad, computer or cell phone – thus overcoming extraneous distractions and noise – to enable the student to hear the teacher or recorded lessons. Not only that, it can also be less embarrassing for the student than wearing a hearing aid.

There are even more creative ways an audio streaming solution could improve your school. If you’re interested in learning more, contact us today! 

3 Steps to a Better Airport Experience

By | airports, Waiting Rooms | No Comments

Summertime air travel is expected to increase 3.4% over last year, and while the destination can be the reward, what about making the journey more enjoyable as well? Most of the stress of air travel is just a matter of surrendering your time to the process of getting there. For many, this begins by dealing with finding joy and gratitude in getting ready, getting to the airport, and getting on the plane.

The Night Before Your Flight

You’re all packed and have checked in online, now take some time to plan your travel outfit the night before you leave.  No matter how long your flight, you want to be comfortable, so choose your softest, most breathable clothes.  Keep in mind the difference between casual Friday and looking like you spent the last three weeks painting your house – you never know who you might run into at the airport. Being comfortable and looking put together also makes you “look the part” of someone who enjoys travel, which can add a bit more fun to your journey and might even get you some travel perks. If you’re on an international flight, consider packing a change of shirt, underwear and some deodorant wipes, so you can feel a bit more refreshed when you deplane.

Commuting To the Airport

Many of us have had the experience of rushing to the airport, hoping we don’t miss the flight and make the trip even more stressful and expensive. So, one of the best things you can do is allow yourself ample time to travel to the airport. Think of ways you can save yourself time like showering the night before, packing everything you’ll need in your carryon, from a snack to your passport, and if you’re a morning snoozer, try setting your alarm 20 minutes earlier.  If you live in a big city, you need to plan ahead for traffic and unexpected delays like an accident or a freeway closure – even if you are taking a cab or rideshare. If you are driving yourself, don’t forget to plan time for finding a parking spot and grabbing a shuttle to the terminal. The worst thing that could happen if you plan ahead, is that you’ll arrive at the airport so early you’ll actually have time to meander through security and maybe check a few emails before boarding even begins. 

Before You Board

Even inside the airport there is still traffic – the foot kind.  Whether you’re checking bags or headed straight to security, be sure your boarding pass and i.d. are handy. If you planned your travel outfit the night before, hopefully you’re wearing slip on shoes, minimal jewelry and pants that don’t need a belt. These simple steps can really help you breeze through security

If you’ve given yourself ample time to arrive at the airport, and have made it through security, you have the option of exploring some of the airport’s comfort options, like restaurants, lounges, televised news & sports, and (if you’re lucky) massage stations.  O’Hare in Chicago has a light show along the moving sidewalk.  Austin’s airport will give you a flavor of the city.  JFK in Queens has a view of the Manhattan skyline.  You can ask if the airport has an observation deck or if you’re on a stopover from an international flight, if the airport has showers. Be sure to pack your headphones and ask if the airport has wireless streaming for the televisions around the terminal. A wireless streaming solution that transmits television audio to your smartphone can ensure you hear every word of what’s on screen to help you pass the time while waiting for your flight. 

Finally, be sure to pack some breath mints or pick some up at one of the shops in the terminal. Once you’re finally on the plane, you can offer one to your seatmate as an ice breaker.

Bon voyage.

How to Enhance College Tours for Gen Z

By | Education, Tour Guides | No Comments

Every summer, many colleges and universities experience an influx of potential students who want to know what makes one institution stand out from the rest. Leaving home for college is an exciting step toward adulthood which involves many stressful unknowns, and even the most confident student might find themselves feeling anxiety. Not only does your college tour need to help ease this nervousness, but it also needs to effectively showcase your school as the best choice, but the incoming generation of students isn’t quite like years past: This is Gen Z.

All students want to learn the history of the school, the locations of the various departments on campus (particularly the one for their major), the location of the dorms and student union. Additionally, showing prospective students the beauty of the campus, the art work, the quiet places to study and the loud places to make friends are all great ways to show why your school is special. 

While they can learn more of this online, Gen Z students prefer in-person experiences over digital. This is why your tour needs to present what makes your school special in the ways that interest them. Gen Z students aren’t as interested in making money like previous generations, they are interested in making a difference:

Not only will a college need to show off the school, but it will also need to align with its new student’s desire to improve the world and affect positive change. Once your tour is catered especially for Gen Z students, it’s important that it be heard clearly – because Gen Z is also the listening generation. Since 98% of Gen Z own a smartphone, a WiFi audio streaming solution that transmits audio directly to their smartphones is a cost effective way to ensure they hear every word of your college tour. 

If you’d like to learn more about how AudioFetch can help improve your campus tours with a wireless tour guide system or education sound system, contact us today.  

3 Fun Ways to Enjoy the Summer!

By | Churches, Education, General, Hearing Assistance, Music, streaming, Theater, Tour Guides | No Comments

Summer is finally here, with its long days that stretch into evening, allowing more time to enjoy life outside, more fun with friends, more time for playing sports. Being outside has amazing benefits as well. Just being outside can lower blood pressure, fight depression and improve memory.  Natural sunlight helps mitigate pain and boost the immune system, plus being outdoors enhances creativity, improves vision, and there’s all that natural aromatherapy.  And it’s all natural. Here are 3 fun ways to be outside and spend time with loved ones (and maybe even learn something):

Outdoor Theater

Attending an outdoor theater production with a picnic is not only healthy for the body because you’re outdoors, but healthy for the mind and spirit too. “Theater is one of the higher cultural activities that mark us as imaginative, creative and truly human,” says Dr. Glenn D Wilson. If the performance includes comedy, all the better. The Mayo Clinic explains that laughter is great for relieving stress and stimulating organs. In the short term, giggling causes a boost in endorphins, the brain’s feel-good chemicals.

Of course, if you don’t arrive early enough to get a seat close to the stage, it may be difficult to hear the actors. Children playing, conversations nearby, traffic, or people walking around can distract from hearing the play. Look for outdoor theaters that offer audio over WiFi streaming so you can be sure to hear every word of the production or even listen to audio translated, if the venue offers live translation.

Walking Tours

Many cities, and even small towns, offer informative and fun walking tours that could help you learn more about the place you are visiting or even your hometown.  Or why not create your own walking tour and invite your friends and family?  Or have your children do it and get an entirely different perspective? They can visit the local history museum and ask the research librarian to help them, or better yet, visit a nursing home and get first-hand stories about locations around town. Intergenerational activity is a great way for parents to help their kids connect with older generations. The children will be so proud to inform everyone about the town and community.  

Of course, if you create your own local walking tour, you might get a crowd and you’ll want to make sure that they can all hear you. A wireless tour guide system is a simple solution to transmit your tour audio directly to your participants’ devices.

Movies Under the Stars

Drive-ins used to be common in cities and even small towns, but now there are only a handful left anywhere. However, with a wireless audio streaming solution that can be easily connected to a projector, it’s easy to make your own outdoor theater. The only other thing you’ll need is a blank white wall (or simply tack up a white sheet).  And, of course, a movie.

You can make it a private event, or if you screen your movie on the side of a building, your outdoor movie screening can become a fun community-building event. The best part is that with an audio streaming solution that transmits audio directly to users’ mobile devices, you’ll never have to worry about disturbing your neighbors!

No matter what you do this summer, we hope you will be sure to gain the benefits of being outdoors. Let us know if we can help make your summer even better by contacting us.

How to Measure AudioFetch App Usage

By | AudioFetch News, General | No Comments

Do you know how often your customers and guests are using AudioFetch? What channels are most popular? Which ads are they engaging with? Understanding how your customers use AudioFetch allows you to make improvements and better understand your return on investment.

Every AudioFetch customer is provided access to cloud-based metrics showing usage of your AudioFetch audio over WiFi streaming system. The usage metrics are available at no additional charge within The Doghouse, our easy-to-use management portal.

Let’s take a look at each of the reports provided, and how you can use them for your business:

Sessions Per Day

The Sessions Per Day report shows total sessions and unique sessions per day during the selected time frame (note: time frame can be specified in the upper right corner of any reporting view).

Look for trends in the data that indicate if any specific days of week are more popular than others. Compare these trends to other occurrences: Did you have a big event at your location? Was there a game or some other TV event happening that day? Do these numbers coincide with sales or other activity at your business?

Cumulative Listening

On the Usage Metrics Dashboard, you can view a pie chart of Cumulative Listening Time. This chart shows every listening session that occurred during the selected time period. By clicking on any of the individual segments, you can dig into each individual listening session to understand more about how long the session lasted, what channels the person listened to, what device they used, location, whether any ads were displayed, and other details.

Session Length

The Sessions Length Report shows the average length of time for all listening sessions during a single day, the maximum listening time and the minimum listening time.

Top 5 Channels

The Top 5 Channels report shows the most popular channels by total minutes your users spent listening during the selected time frame.

Use this report to help you choose what to show on the various TVs, and help optimize channel placement within your location. For example, if the majority of people listen to Channel 23, but this is only playing on one TV tucked in a corner, you should consider moving that station to a more prominent TV.

Individual Session Details

Every single listening session is listed with numerous details, such as duration, location, device type, App Version, etc. Clicking on the “Details” link for any single entry provides more info on that session, including Channels listened to and a map of where they listened.

These session details can be extremely useful for troubleshooting issues by device type, carrier, App version or location. If a user is having problems connecting to the wireless audio streaming, it could be that they’re using an old version of the AudioFetch app. Identifying this quickly and simply having them to upgrade the App can save you time, hassle and create a better customer experience.

Our free Usage Metrics allow you to better understand the return you get from your AudioFetch system, and improve the experience your guests have when using wireless audio streaming. For more tips on getting the most from AudioFetch, read our articles “How to Promote AudioFetch at Your Business,” “Customize Your AudioFetch App” and “How to Run Ads Through AudioFetch’s Ad Portal.”  If you have additional questions about how to get the most from your AudioFetch, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

How To Improve Factory Tours with Wireless Tour Guide Systems

By | Tour Guides | No Comments

Factory tours are a great way of getting a variety of people to see how your company works and the incredible people you have on your team. Potential investors, students, government inspectors, new employees, and more could all benefit from an insightful look into the workings of your factory.

The factory environment, however, is not always the most conducive to tour groups. The constant hum of machines, various safety hazards, narrow walkways — these challenges can make it difficult for tour guides to hear and be heard. To make the tour experience as valuable and enjoyable as possible, a wireless tour guide system helps to address the three key challenges of factory tours:

Noise on the Factory Floor

If there’s a great deal of noise in the factory, you may spend a lot of time shouting at your guests which can make them uncomfortable as they strain to hear you and could cause you to eventually lose your voice.

Worst of all, your visitors may miss part of what you are saying, especially if you have a small crowd where people have to stand behind others or when you have to turn away to lead them. If your visitors can’t hear you, they could lose interest or miss important information that you’re trying to pass along.  

Tour Safety

Given strict government regulations of manufacturing and factory work, safety issues can also be a concern for tours. You might need to keep visitors out of sensitive areas and away from machinery, and this is something that needs a reminder each time you move on.  

Also, members of the group might wander off or go to the restroom and get separated from their group – this is especially true with groups of students. It would be helpful to have a way to communicate with them so that they find their way back to the group.  

Not Disturbing Your Staff

While some areas of your workplace may be noisy, other areas may be quiet places where employees are concentrating on their work.  Hearing a tour guide speaking loudly could be disruptive. You’ll want to keep your voice low so you don’t disturb anyone and this can present another hearing problem for your tour group.

One way of overcoming all of these hearing issues is to use an audio tour device that can stream audio directly to a user’s mobile device, allowing them to  hear every word via headphones or earbuds. You’ll never have to shout above the noise, and if you have to speak quietly, your guests will still be able to hear you by turning up the volume on their mobile device. Plus, because they use their own phones or tablets, you don’t have to worry about upkeep on clunky or outdated devices. It’s the perfect solution.

If you’d like to hear more about how AudioFetch products could improve your factory tours, as well as other benefits to your employees, contact us!

Building Community Through Hearing Assistance

By | Hearing Assistance | No Comments

A new study at Cigna reveals that loneliness is at epic proportions in the United States. The UCLA Loneliness Scale indicated that nearly half of all Americans feel alone; older adults with hearing loss feel isolated, but Gen Z is the loneliest of all. The article suggests that getting enough sleep and exercise can help combat loneliness.

The best way of dealing with loneliness is to have a sense of community. Learning, work, and friendship are important aspects of living a full life and not understanding another person’s language or having trouble hearing them creates isolation. Without language translation or hearing assistance, people tend to congregate in their own groups and this creates exclusion. However, there are many locations for community building already in place: schools, churches, senior centers, sporting events and the workplace, to name a few. The key is to create social and cultural inclusion so that everyone feels welcome and understood.

Beyond addressing loneliness, there are benefits of cultural and language inclusion. It’s been proven that children who are taught in their own language learn faster and make better grades, and companies with inclusive policies have higher earnings.

A sporting event bypasses cultural and language barriers as well as hearing impairments, and sharing a game can bond a group. Audio streaming for bars and restaurants is a great way to include everyone, no matter which team they are rooting for. Not only that, many adults do not wish to admit that they have a hearing impairment as it implies disability, so offering an audio solution that helps groups to bond can make it easier for those with hearing disabilities to feel safe to ask for what they need.

To create stronger community at church and help to overcome language barriers, the congregation can use assisted listening devices for churches to translate the entire sermon into the non-dominant language so that parishioners understand what it’s like to hear in a language that they may not fully understand. Plus, those with hearing impairments can feel more included if they are able to use an audio streaming device with earbuds so that they don’t miss a word of the service no matter what language it’s in.

We hope that you will help to address the issue of loneliness by entering into a community or creating one that will show kindness to others. If you’d like to learn more about how our audio solutions could help, contact us.

Level Up Your Next Field Trip with a WiFi PA System

By | Education, Hearing Assistance, Theater, Tour Guides | No Comments

Most students enjoy taking a field trip because it offers more time to socialize, it breaks up the routine of the classroom, and they don’t have to eat in the cafeteria! But field trips are also beneficial to learning because they expand a child’s awareness of the world and they help with memory.

According to a study at the University of Arkansas, taking a field trip to a live theater performance enhanced literary knowledge, tolerance and empathy among students. And, a recent study by Emilyn Ruble Whitesell at New York University, showed that middle-school students who participated in science field trips scored higher on a standardized science test. Ruble believes that this is because field trips and hands-on learning make concepts more memorable.

These studies point to the fact that field trips are beneficial for students on multiple levels, but that’s only if you can manage to keep students engaged. Increased class sizes can make many field trip groups difficult to manage, and with budget cuts it’s important to find an economical solution that makes the most of readily available resources like a student’s smartphone. A personal PA system for teachers or field trip guides, one with built in WiFi, can transmit audio from the speaker directly to a student’s smart device.

With a WiFi PA system from AudioFetch, students can have the freedom to roam during a field trip while staying connected to the teacher or tour guide providing vital information about the experience. It can also keep students hands free to take notes, and because they use their own devices, the school doesn’t have to budget for upkeep on headsets or another type of wireless tour guide system. Finally, with built in WiFi, educators are empowered to take their class anywhere and ensure that learning is uninterrupted by others in the area.

If you’re an educator and want to learn more, contact us to find out if an AudioFetch personal PA system could help you level up your next field trip.

And don’t forget, we’re in the final weeks of our #WHYIGUIDE tour guide giveaway! To enter, record a video (<30 seconds) explaining why you love being a tour guide, and post it to our Facebook page or upload the video to your Instagram profile, and use the hashtags: #WhyIGuide and #TourGuideLife. Every video uploaded between March 18 and April 30 with those hashtags is automatically entered, and the winner will be chosen at random in May. Full rules and eligibility


The Ultimate Guide for Tour Guides!

By | Tour Guides | No Comments

This month we’re hosting the #WHYIGUIDE tour guide giveaway so we thought we’d put together 3 of our most popular blogs for tour guides! Learn more about our solutions for tour guides here.

To enter the giveaway record a video (<30 seconds) explaining why you love being a tour guide, and post it to our Facebook page or upload the video to your Instagram profile, and use the hashtags: #WhyIGuide and #TourGuideLife. Every video uploaded between March 18 and April 30 with those hashtags is automatically entered, and the winner will be chosen at random in May. Full rules and eligibility

5 Tips For Tour Guides:

With summer edging up closer and closer, it means that tours are going to get packed. As a tour guide, the goal is to always provide a memorable and informative visit. To make every experience as great as possible for your tour members, here are five quick tips for tour guides to keep in mind this travel season…read more!

Make It About The Tour Not The Headset:

Imagine you’ve scheduled a tour at a museum and you want to make sure all your patrons can hear you talk about the artwork, the building and history without disturbing the other museum guests. Maybe you’re thinking of trying out one of those wireless tour guide headsets that you wear over your ear while your guests carry a receiver like fanny pack.  What happens if suddenly 3 patrons can’t hear because the batteries have died? All you have to do is stop the tour while you change the batteries (hopefully you brought enough with you), and then restart where you left off and hope you didn’t leave anything out….read more!

Get Creative With A Portable PA System For Business:

Are you looking for a distraction-free PA system for your business? One that is portable, convenient, and affordable? The simplicity of the AudioFetch FetchExpress may be exactly what you need. With it’s simple design and ease of installation the FetchExpress can help keep communication with your customers, guests and team clear and effective…read more!

AudioFetch Why I Guide Giveaway Contest 2

Want to Win a Free FetchExpress? Tell Us Why You Love Being a Tour Guide

By | AudioFetch News, Tour Guides | No Comments

Being a tour guide is a dream job for many. In fact, it was ranked the 3rd best job for work-life balance by Business Insider last year. And it’s hard not to see why–experience new environments, meet new and interesting people, learn about art, history and culture, and of course, get paid to see the world! These are just some of the reasons we know tour guides love their jobs.

But we know there are a million more. And we need you to tell us what they are. That’s why we’re hosting the “Why I Guide” giveaway contest. Tell us what you love about your job and you’ll be entered to win a free FetchExpress, the best wireless tour guide device out there, and a custom Tour Guide Accessories Kit (USB battery, battery charger cable, headset microphone, belt pack). FetchExpress allows your tour groups to hear your voice better without distractions or distracting others. Using built-in WiFi, FetchExpress broadcasts your voice live to your guests’ smartphones via the free AudioFetch App.

Entering the contest is easy — just record a video (<30 seconds) explaining why you love being a tour guide, and post it to our Facebook page or upload the video to your Instagram profile, and use the hashtags: #WhyIGuide and #TourGuideLife. Every video uploaded between March 18 and April 30 with those hashtags is automatically entered, and the winner will be chosen at random in May.

What are you waiting for? Record that video and head over to Facebook or Instagram to enter!

Full rules and eligibility.