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How to Listen to TV at Life Time Fitness with AudioFetch

By | Fitness Centers | No Comments

You’ve just finished all the Halloween candy, and now here comes Thanksgiving with that big turkey dinner and all those tempting desserts.  After that, you face the stress of getting ready for Christmas. What do you get for Aunt Edna and Uncle George?  

There’s food everywhere this time of year.  Brownies on every reception desk, triple layer dip in the office kitchen, the office party, private parties and Christmas dinner. The holidays can be packed with calories and stress, but our client Life Time Fitness, knows that the number one way to relieve stress is exercise. It lowers stress hormones, improves your ability to sleep, and boosts your sense of competence. 

Listening to music can be soothing and stress-relieving, and it lowers blood pressure. Watching your favorite sitcom or sports team on television can be a great way to pass the time on an elliptical or as a distraction between weight lifting sets (and watching sports is good for your health, too). Not only will you be entertained, but you can set your workout time limit by the length of the program. 

Many national gyms have equipment with small TVs mounted on them – Stair Masters, ARC Trainer, spin bikes, treadmills, ellipticals – so members can watch TV when they use those machines. Eventually though, members move to the gym floor or a different machine, and then their only option is to read closed captioning, or listen to music on their own device with earbuds. What happens when they want to hear what’s on the television at the gym? Even if they could turn it up, they’d still have to deal with all the noise of everyone working out all around them. 

When members of Life Time Fitness wanted to figure out how to watch TV at the gym, the gym decided to install AudioFetch, a gym audio streaming solution. AudioFetch allows members of Life Time Fitness to listen and watch the television program of their choice simply by tuning in via the AudioFetch app on their device. 

AudioFetch is able to broadcast up to 512 inputs of wireless audio options and the no-hassle phone app is simple to use. AudioFetch transmits the audio over local WiFi, so every member of Life Time Fitness clubs offering this amenity can hear what they want wherever they are in the facility. And Life Time Fitness is able to customize the AudioFetch app to match their branding and include important promotions, ads and specials, further enhancing the gym members’ experience and driving more sales. 

If you’d like to learn more about how AudioFetch can improve the experience of your gym or fitness center’s members, contact us today for more information.

Why You’ll Love Traveling by Train

By | Travel | No Comments

Many of us are more than familiar with the hassles of air travel. Having to arrive 2 hours early,  baggage limits, terrible food, and airline travel isn’t exactly a bargain. What if you could avoid all those headaches and still get where you wanted to go at the same for a lower price? That’s just one of the great reasons why train travel could be a great option. Here are 3 more reasons train travel could be a part of your next vacation or work trip.

LOW STRESS:

Train travel is relaxing travel. To start, you don’t have to arrive until about a half hour before the train is due to depart. Since there’s no TSA there won’t be any lines to wait in or x-ray machines.  Not only that, but a porter will be there to help you load your luggage. Amtrak allows you to bring two carry-ons and two checked bags, so no need to worry about cramming everything into that one carry on like you do when you fly.  On a train, you’ll never contend with the fasten seatbelt sign. When you want to stretch your legs you can walk the aisle without having to maneuver around a cart. 

THE FOOD

On some trains, there could be a cart that serves hot drinks and snacks. However, when you are truly ready for a meal, you don’t have to wait for a flight attendant to come by with a sandwich and grapes. Instead, you go to the dining car and order from a menu at a proper table. You won’t be trying not to elbow elbow your seatmate and you might even make new friends.  The food is cooked right there on the train by a chef and is generally very good. The best part is, if you happen to spill something all over yourself, you can take a shower. 

COMFORT

In addition to amenities like full bathrooms with showers, many trains offer roomy seats and overnight compartments where you can relax in privacy. Just for comparison, your seat in Economy Class on any airline is 17-1/2 inches wide and the seat in front of you is about 8 inches away from the edge of your seat. Your seat on a train is 20-1/2 inches wide and it reclines. Plus, when it reclines a leg rest pops up.  You can sleep in your seat, read, meet other travelers, or just look out the large windows and watch the countryside pass by.  Since you aren’t flying over it or zooming past it like you would in a car, a train is the perfect way to see and learn about the places you are traveling through. 

ENTERTAINMENT

Train travel is for the true adventurer.  For people who like to explore, learn new things, and meet new people.  There are no movies or television, but if you really, really must have digital entertainment, bring along your tablet because trains generally have wifi.  But the best part of train travel is seeing something new, and if the train offers local streaming of audio over their WiFi, you can use your own device to learn about what you are seeing through the window.  And talk to your family or your seatmates about it.  

If you’re thinking about traveling this fall, consider making it a train trip. It is sure to be an unforgettable experience. 

Audio Solutions to Help Your House of Worship

By | Churches, Hearing Assistance | No Comments

Baby boomers represent about one-quarter of the American population and as they age, they may begin to experience hearing loss.  Along with that, approximately 5% of the total population experiences some type of hearing disability.  This makes it important for any religious organization to consider and anticipate their needs and give consideration to the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Many houses of worship are looking for ways to leverage technology to make hearing assistance simpler, more effective, and less costly.  

For decades, houses of worship have used inductive loop systems to assist the hearing impaired, but these systems are cumbersome, expensive and still require the use of a hearing aid which many people find embarrassing. Recent developments in hearing assistive technology however, can be a great solution both for houses of worship with tight budgets to assist parishioners experiencing hearing loss.  Some devices use BlueTooth technology, which allows the pairing of cell phones and hearing aids to assist the congregation in hearing the service directly without having to use a headset.  

Audio streaming solutions that use built in WiFi technology work similarly to BlueTooth. These assisted listening solutions for churches allow listeners to hear the service via an app on their own device (phone or tablet) using their own earbuds or headset which can be great for those who do not to wear a hearing aid but still need the audio boosted. By having guests bring their own device to use and listen, houses of worship can save the time and money that would otherwise be spent on upkeep of other audio solutions. For those who cannot afford a smartphone or iPad, some houses of worship have been sourcing inexpensive smartphones or asking parishioners to donate their old phones and iPads.  And, of course, people can borrow a phone during the service or share with another parishioner. 

Not only can a local audio streaming system allow your hearing impaired members to hear the service better, it also opens doors for other creative uses like offering translation services or creating an outdoor movie fundraiser. 

If you’d like more information on how an audio solution that streams over wifi could help transform your house of worship, contact us today. 

AudioFetch Blog Header - Stadium Listening

New Stadium Listening Solution by AudioFetch

By | AudioFetch News, Stadiums | No Comments

Experiencing a live sporting event, concert, speaker or other big performance involves all five senses. Seeing the video screens and special effects. Smelling the hot dogs cooking on the grill. Feeling the cool summer night breeze. Tasting that first sip of ice cold beer. Listening to the play-by-play commentary or catching all the hit songs. Each of these senses is important, but it’s that last one–hearing–that is so important for live events. 

Hearing enables us to connect with the world and people around us, and allows us to enjoy life to its fullest. It also helps keep us safe in potentially threatening or emergency situations. So when fans can’t hear in noisy stadiums or arenas, they can miss out on the high points of the event or even critical announcements. 

That’s why we’re so excited to announce a new local WiFi audio streaming solution–Stadium Listening

“Accessibility and experience are incredibly important to stadiums and large arenas,” says Tim DePumpo, CEO of AudioFetch. “They want each and every person at that event to enjoy each and every aspect of the performance. And audio is a major, if not the most important part.”

This new solution allows thousands of listeners to hear live local audio on their smartphone or tablet using the AudioFetch app. It’s ideal for attendees with hearing disabilities or simply those that want to clearly hear the main event over hollering vendors, cheering fans, blaring vuvuzelas and other miscellaneous event din. Any venue that draws a large crowd–sports stadiums, concert arenas, large auditoriums, indoor or outdoor amphitheaters–can use this new audio streaming solution to provide hearing assistance for attendees. 

“When we first developed AudioFetch, we were focused on smaller venues and smaller crowds–maybe 50 to 100 people watching games in a sports bar, or 20 people running on treadmills at the gym,” says Tim. “As the company has grown, so have the crowd sizes that want to listen. We’ve gotten interest from stadiums and large arenas around the world, and knew we needed to come up with a solution for mass listening.” 

For the stadium or event venue, it works similarly to our other local audio streaming products. Just three easy steps get you up and running: 1. Connect the audio source(s) to AudioFetch using the included cables; 2. Connect the AudioFetch to the WiFi router; and 3. Attendees download the AudioFetch App and listen in real-time. (And if you want to get technical, that’s really only two steps on you!)

For attendees, it’s the exact same process as any other venue. Simply download the AudioFetch App for Apple or Android, connect to the local WiFi and start listening! 

“We’ve spent years developing the technology to make this mass listening possible,” Tim adds. “And also spent years making sure customers and users never know how much tech is behind it. It’s so simple to get more people hearing better, and that’s our number one goal.” 

For more information on this new stadium listening solution or to learn how AudioFetch can help you and your customers hear better, contact us today

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 local 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 there’s an airport audio streaming system 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 a wireless tour guide system 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!