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Making Your School Safer and More Inclusive

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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 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.

3 Reasons to add AudioFetch to your College Campus

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A college campus is a vibrant place of learning, ingenuity, and inventiveness.  The atmosphere is ripe with growth and learning, and the technology available on campus for various activities is a great opportunity to inspire students and faculty alike. An audio solution that transmits audio over wifi could be a great addition to any higher education audio-visual department and opens up some creative opportunities to enhance the experience of everyone on campus.

STUDENTS

Students work hard to become informed and expand their knowledge and skills.  They learn from books, professors, visiting lecturers, and each other. They attend multiple classes and spend long hours studying.  To unwind they sometimes look to the Student Union to share a meal, a televised sports event or an episode of South Park or Jeopardy.

One television, turned up loud enough for so many people to hear, can seem blaring to those who are more interested in talking to their friends.  For students who are studying while they eat, the noise of the television that rises and falls with the excitement of sports announcers’ voices or the music of commercials can be very distracting.  Or perhaps there are several televisions showing different programs and one can’t be heard over another, creating a cacophony of noise. And what if students with hearing disabilities just want to hear what’s on TV more clearly?

Any streaming device that transmits audio via wifi to a user’s smartphone, would be a perfect solution to manage noise levels in shared student spaces like the Student Union or dorms. Think of the peace in having an audio-streaming device that would allow students to listen to any TV through their cell phones.  Earbuds would prevent distracting anyone sitting nearby, and students could still watch together by tuning in to the same channel.

PROFESSORS

Seeking to vary the classes or impart direct knowledge, a professor might take a class of students to a museum, a play, a special lecture or a local engineering facility.  Communicating with students might be distracting to others at the museum, play, or lecture, and might be impossible in a plant, however, a personal PA system for teachers that streams audio directly to student smartphones would allow the professor to communicate with all the students over any other noise and without disturbing anyone nearby. Not only that, through direct streaming, students are more likely to hear every word of instruction through their earbuds and are less likely to be distracted or miss something vital because of ambient noise.

GUEST LECTURERS & PRESENTERS

Very often during the semester, a college will host a special visitor who might lecture on politics, environmental issues, the entertainment industry, or host a Q & A.  These special presentations are open to the public and many people from the community attend. Students attending the college or members of the community whose first language is not English are at a slight disadvantage because they might miss the nuances of the speaker.  Wouldn’t a translator be a big help? A translator could be a volunteer from the community who transmits the dialogue over streaming audio, allowing everyone to hear the lecture in their own language. Not only that, but attendees with hearing impairment could also benefit from an audio streaming device that amplifies the sound of the lecture directly into their ear buds.

An AudioFetch education sound system that streams over wifi could solve so many on campus challenges and be a great addition to the student and community experience.  If you would like to know more about our audio streaming solutions, contact us today!

Get Creative with a Portable PA System for Business

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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.

How does it work?

Our portable PA system streams audio from a single source to anyone listening through the AudioFetch app on their smartphone or tablet. No complicated AV systems or bulky listening devices required.

FetchExpress connects seamlessly to your existing WiFi, so installation is simple and doesn’t require a mess of cords and plugs. The device also comes with a built-in WiFi function, turning you into a walking hotspot for outdoor or en-route use.

With options for broadcasting your voice with a directly-connected or wireless microphone, you are assured a quick and easy way to communicate without distractions for your listeners or others. If you need to broadcast from several sources, you can easily pair multiple FetchExpresses together or use our AudioFetch Signature system for up to 256 inputs.

All the listener needs to do is download the AudioFetch app to get started. We provide marketing material for your venue to let people know that AudioFetch is available and how to use it.

Who can use it?

There are many businesses that can benefit from an AudioFetch system, from houses of worship and tourism companies to warehouses and educational facilities, and everyone in between! Some of the creative uses include:

With a Portable PA system you can minimize distractions to ensure clear and direct communication with the people who need to hear it most.

The AudioFetch PA system helps businesses transform how they interact with their guests, customers and staff, leading to enhanced customer experience, improved productivity and increased revenue. It brings a personal touch to the end user while enabling the broadcaster to scale their operations. What more could you want? Contact us today for more information.

Audio Streaming Could Save Lives in an Emergency

By | Business, Churches, Education, Fitness Centers, Food for thought, Hearing Assistance, streaming, Uncategorized | No Comments

In emergency situations it is vital that communication be clear and immediately accessible to all involved. Loud speakers can become muffled and may not be appropriate to use in every situation.

Hearing assistive streaming devices are an effective and useful alternate solution for efficient communication. In the event of an emergency, a communication system that streams audio over wifi can reach everyone in harm’s way through their smartphone via WiFi.  A password protected WiFi network can provide secure communications.

Following are five venues that could benefit from using a wireless audio streaming system in the event of an emergency:

Office Buildings

An office fire can quickly spread claiming multiple lives especially in a multi-level unit. Your office’s emergency coordinator can use a Personal PA System over WiFi to stream emergency instructions to employees on multiple floors. An added benefit is that this same system can provide multiple music channels to your team in order to increase their productivity.

Schools and College Campuses

Nobody wants to think about this kind of situation, but they’re in the headlines too often these days. A portable PA System that streams over wifi can provide teachers with a myriad of creative ways to take lessons out of the classroom, but it can also discreetly communicate emergency instructions to faculty, staff and students.

Warehouses and Factories

You may already be using a streaming solution to provide your team with music and other entertainment during work hours. This technology can also be used to make widespread announcements during an emergency, allowing your workforce to mobilize quickly and efficiently.

Hotels and Resorts

Extreme weather situations can ruin a vacation. A streaming solutions that can send instructions to your staff’s and guest’s smartphones, can help provide an excellent level of service to guests, despite the conditions outside.

Shopping Malls

In enclosed malls it can be easy to become disoriented when trying to escape an emergency situation. Plus, when you have masses of people in one space, it is vital to offer clear and accessible information and instructions. An audio streaming solution can broadcast directly to employee’s smartphones, providing them with instructions to help guide other staff and shoppers.

No matter the venue, with an audio streaming solution in place there’s one more tool at hand to make one-way communication clear and efficient for all involved. Communication is direct and widespread and the fear of unclear, unheard messages are no longer an issue when people can receive communication directly to their phone or tablet.  In the case of an emergency consider a plan that includes a broadcast system that you can rely on and trust.

If you would like to know more about Personal PA Systems or Audio Streaming Solutions, contact us today!

 

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The Benefits of a Personal PA System

By | Business, Churches, Dining, Education, Fashion, Fitness Centers, Hearing Assistance, Music, Restaurants, Sports Bars, streaming, Tour Guides, Waiting Rooms | No Comments

Whether you’re a factory manager, a tour guide, a minister or a sports bar manager, you understand the importance of keeping your people happy. Information is today’s currency, and there is so much of it, coming so quickly, that being able to convey and understand critical information is of top importance.

Communication is essential, whether between your business and employees, or your clientele. This can mean different things depending on your business; saving time, eliminating distractions or simply providing an impeccable experience. Whatever your goals are, an audio streaming solution could help you get there faster.

Have you ever presented at a business conference in a cavernous lecture hall or noisy convention center? How much time is spent trying to get the microphone or AV system working and repeating Q&A responses so that people in every corner of the room can hear? What if you could take advantage of smart phone technology, and everyone could stream audio from your presentation in real-time? You wouldn’t be competing with conversation in the back of the room, noise from the hall, or general din of a busy convention center. Your presentation just became more productive and efficient.

Maybe you’re expanding your business and need to train employees at your new location, but last-minute installation and finishing are still going on. If you used a personal PA system with built in wifi, your new team could follow you around the store, warehouse, or office without worrying about the distraction or disruption of the other work going on. Your employees will be trained in less time, saving you money.

Construction sites and factory floors are notoriously loud. Bring in new people or guide investors around the site and have a productive conversation despite all that’s going on. You will know they aren’t missing any of the important points.

Maybe you work with the public – education, fitness instruction, giving tours at a local museum or botanical garden, auctioneering, hosting book club at the library, guiding field trips through a nature preserve or historical site. Streaming your instruction with a wireless audio guide system will give your students and clients a better, deeper experience without interrupting or distracting others, and maybe even save your voice.

Does your church serve the hearing impaired? Let them listen in real-time with personal PA technology. Do you have a cry room or nursery separate from the sanctuary? Mothers and caretakers can keep up on the sermon without waking the babies. You can tend your flock in a way that meets their needs.

Additionally, you’re not limited to streaming your own voice. Maybe your business or agency would benefit from streaming music, or pertinent content. Anxious patients in the waiting room? They can stream soothing music. Bored citizens waiting for their number at the DMV? Offer audio from TVs mounted throughout the room, or a review of traffic laws while they wait.

Perhaps you want to provide some of the benefits of music to your employees, without allowing a free-for-all when it comes to internet streaming. This technology can offer a variety of options, pre-selected by you or your management team.

If this is something that would help your business increase productivity and efficiency, or create happier, more satisfied clients, Fetch Express is one option to consider. Contact us at AudioFetch for more information.

How Audio Streaming Works

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We’ve all been there. You’re out at your favorite restaurant and whether it’s the big game or some breaking news, you want to tune in and hear the experience. This can be difficult with all the noise in a busy establishment. Streaming local audio over wifi directly solves this issue by allowing your patrons to easily connect their personal devices to the source. Patrons have their choice of volume, channel, and can easily catch all the action at their choosing.

How Audio Streaming Works

Streaming is basically taking an audio or video source and broadcasting it out. The content must be sampled then encoded. In the case of streaming local audio over WiFi, the stream is encoded into WiFi packets.

How AudioFetch Streaming Works

The AudioFetch platform is a designed specifically for very fast sampling and encoding of audio to be distributed over WiFi networks.  To this end, there is a dedicated audio processor for each audio source.  The For business owners, this well thought out design results in a a simple “plug-and-play” process!

Plug: First, you connect the audio source to the AudioFetch system you’re using. It could be a television, satellite, cable or IPTV input if using the traditional multiple-channel AudioFetch system, or a microphone if using the portable, single-channel FetchExpress. Note that AudioFetch provides 3 different audio connection issues to ensure your sources connect today and in the future.  Next, you connect the AudioFetch system to the wireless internet router via the Ethernet jack.

And Play: Once connected to both the source and the WiFi, the AudioFetch system automatically broadcasts audio from the source through the local WiFi network.

Users that have downloaded the free AudioFetch app and are connected to the local WiFi simply launch the  App and the audio automatically is streamed on their smartphone or tablet.

How AudioFetch Audio Streaming Over WiFi Works

Learn more about how AudioFetch works.

Local audio streaming is an extremely effective way to reach your patrons quickly, easily and often very personally. They’ll be happy that they can choose what they want to hear and view.  THose that don’t want to hear are grateful for the lack of noise pollution. For more information on how AudioFetch can work for you, contact us today.

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Build Community with an Outdoor Movie Screening

By | General, Hearing Assistance | No Comments

Cooler, cozier evenings are just around the corner, but that doesn’t mean an end to all outdoor activities. Outdoor movie events have become quite popular in the last few years and are an excellent way to build community in your organization or neighborhood. With advances in projection and audio technology, they are easier to produce than ever.

Practically any type of organization or business can host an outdoor movie night. Following are some ideas for how you can host outdoor movies in your community and the benefits they can bring:

Church or Youth Groups

An outdoor movie screening can provide community outreach, fellowship and recreation for your members, regardless of their age. Select family-friendly movies that help to spread your organization’s message.

Public Libraries

Create educational or recreational events targeting teens and families to connect the community and bring folks to the library. Select movie adaptations of favorite novels, like Harry Potter films, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Wizard of Oz, Little Women, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, The Hunger Games films or Where the Wild Things Are.

Professional Organizations

Use outdoor movie screenings as a way to enrich your local community, and bring together like-minded individuals to make connections.

Agri-Tourism

Host an outdoor movie at your farm’s pumpkin patch, or after the corn maze. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is a fitting title, but there are near innumerable movies that pair well with the autumn season.

Parks and Recreation

Offer regular community gatherings at parks and outdoor spaces around your town. Provide lawn games or frisbee golf, and consider hiring musical acts to bring in a bigger crowd. You can make the event free or charge a small fee for an additional revenue opportunity.

Businesses

Host the movie night as a customer- or employee-appreciation event. Bring a few vendors (e.g., popcorn, ice cream, beverages) to make the evening complete.

Neighborhood Groups

There’s no better way to get to know your neighbors than by cozying up in front of a movie, and laughing or gasping together!

Charities & Civic Organizations

Host a movie night to raise awareness for your cause. Select a film that is relevant to your organization, and bring in vendors and other entertainment. For example, if you’re screening a documentary related to your cause, invite the director for a post-screening Q&A.

Schools & Clubs

An outdoor movie night can be an excellent fundraising opportunity. Select a popular movie that appeals to a broad range of people, get sponsors to donate snacks and drinks, and ask for a small donation at the entrance.

Sports Teams

Another effective way to raise funds, this time for local community or school sports team. You could also simply have the screening  be an end-of-season celebration for players, parents and fans.

Arts Councils

Run the outdoor movie screening in conjunction with your festival schedule or use it as an outreach method for children’s art.

Local Talent

Pair an outdoor movie with a live music ensemble, dance troupe or vaudeville act! A swing dancing team would make a great opener for Dirty Dancing. An 80s cover band would be perfect before The Breakfast Club. A dancing dog act would pair nicely with The Secret Life of Pets. Get creative and tap into your local talent pool.

With the earlier sunsets of autumn, it’s the perfect time to host an outdoor movie evening. All you need is a white sheet or convenient wall (a white delivery truck would work, too), a projector, assistive hearing technology (especially if you don’t want to monitor your area for noise pollution or obtain a sound permit), and a favorite movie!

Guests can bring their own blankets and chairs–even their comfy pickup truck bed, if the venue permits! Consider selling or giving away popcorn as an added treat. It’s a perfect way to bring your community together in an entertaining and unique fall gathering.

When you’re ready to make your outdoor movie the best-heard event of its kind, without disturbing the nearby neighbors, contact us.

5 Inspiring Ways to Teach with a Portable PA System

By | Education | No Comments

As all teachers know, managing a classroom is difficult. It takes skill and effort to wrangle and direct a large group of students; sometimes, it might just seem entirely overwhelming. However, more and more teachers are embracing technology to keep students on task and engaged. Some teachers have found success and inspiration from using a portable PA system. Here are 5 creative ways you can use a portable PA system with your students.

1. Direct a field trip

Keeping track of students in a classroom is hard enough. Outside of the classroom, you also have to worry about the possibility of students running off, getting lost, or missing the bus. A portable PA system can let you communicate to your students during a field trip. Your students will be able to hear your directions and know when to be where, even if they aren’t at the same location as you. You can also add helpful information about the place being visited. Tips, stories and even possible pop-quiz questions.

2. Foreign language listening

Learning a foreign language requires listening and comprehension. Most foreign language programs involve audio in some form: to learn pronunciation, to practice comprehension, or as a part of a test. Computer speakers are often quiet and low-quality, and make it hard for students to hear and understand spoken words. A portable PA system can let your students have high-quality, easy-to-hear audio that comes directly from you. You can cater the audio to meet the needs of that day’s lesson plan, and you can teach multiple langauge levels in the same room.

3. Lecturing with a sore throat

When you’re speaking day in, day out, nonstop, for hours a day, your vocal chords are bound to get fatigued. A portable PA system can amplify your voice even when your throat isn’t working at its best. All you have to do is speak at a comfortable voice into the system, and your students will hear you through their headphones as if you were lecturing normally.

4. Playing music during work time

Did you know that there’s research showing music can help with completing tasks? Mozart and Bach are the most commonly cited examples, but, there are lots of classical and ambient musicians that can be soothing and help students concentrate. If you’re assigning work in class, why not use a portable PA system to play music? This way you can control the use of devices and music in the classroom while rewarding your students with the option work with music without disturbing the class.

5. Lessons outside the classroom

Most students would agree: if it’s nice out, they want to have class outside. Who wants to sit at a desk inside when the sun is shinning? However, a gust of wind or a passing car can easily drown out your voice. A portable PA system, can help you stay audible, and let your students enjoy the sun and the outdoors while they learn.

AudioFetch offers a portable PA system called the FetchExpress that could be the perfect compliment to your lessons this fall. We value education and are proudly offering all AudioFetch products to teachers at 20% August 1 through September 30. We hope to be your partner in education this school year! To learn more just contact us.

Enter the Bring Your Own Device Giveaway today!

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Using Portable PA Systems for Auctions

By | Auction, General | No Comments

Being heard is one of the most important parts of an auctioneer’s job. But the myriad locations where auctions take place can make that challenging. Uber quiet art galleries, elegant charity events, rowdy cattle yards, vast impound lots–these locations can be distracting for buyers or cause a distraction to other guests.

A portable PA system is an effective and cost-efficient way to ensure that bidders can hear your every word. Following are five other benefits that portable PA systems provide to auctioneers and audiences.

Save Your Money Maker

For auctioneers, your voice is your money maker. Hollering over the din of noisy crowds and background clatter puts a strain on your voice and, if done for long periods of time, can cause vocal fatigue and irrevocable damage. Using a wireless audio streaming systems allows you to speak at a normal volume and still have the audience hear you.

Broadcast Even in Remote Locations

Portable PA systems for local audio streaming create a wireless network. So even if you’re in a location with poor cellular service like a rural stockyard or a cavernous warehouse, your audience can use the integrated wifi to download and access the app for live streaming.

Help Hearing Impaired Audience

Even if the auction is taking place in a quiet location without any distractions or risks of distracting others, your audience may have hearing impairments that require some type of assistive listening device. And while many people have hearing aids, they may have forgotten them, don’t like to wear them or get annoying feedback in certain locations. With wireless audio streaming, all the listener needs is a smartphone or mobile device and headphones.

Minimal Setup and No Wires

Portable PA systems are small and lightweight. They can easily be strapped to a belt or slipped into a pocket for hand-free operation. Very little setup is required. Simply charge the equipment, connect to wifi and configure channels, and you’re ready to go!

If you’d like expand coverage or connect with other audio sources for larger venues or ongoing auction events, you can add a transmitter and receiver, but these are entirely optional.

Affordable with No Monthly Fees

Local audio streaming systems start at just $500 and do not require recurring monthly usage fees. And once you purchase the equipment, it’s yours to use as much as you like.

Ensuring that your audience can hear every word creates a more pleasurable auction experience and helps to increase bids. To learn more about how a wireless audio streaming system can help grow your auctions, contact us today.