An Intercom (intercommunication device) is a communication tool that allows two or more people to carry a conversation or communicate in some manner through different rooms or compartments in a structure (ie. a building, ship, airplane, etc). This communication over an electric circuit device is mostly found mounted permanently within building structures (whether business or residential) or vehicles (ie. airplanes, ships, buses, etc.).
Intercom connections can come in the form of walkie-talkies, telephones, and cell phones over a phone line or data line. Intercoms are used to mainly communicate within a building. For example, you can have an intercom system within your house to monitor what’s going on in your child’s room or to communicate with your spouse or other family member in a different part of the house.
Intercoms come in a variety of styles. Some are extremely easy to use while others can be very complicated. There are audio intercoms, video intercoms, integratable and multi-tenant intercoms. Top of the line intercom manufacturers include Aiphone, Quantometrix and Vitec Group Communications. These companies offer a wide variety of communication systems consisting of audio, audio visual, IP network intercoms, apartment entry intercoms, nurse call, and bowling alley intercoms.
Also known as voice intercoms, audio Intercoms have one main unit and other smaller units in different parts of a building allowing communication between the main part of the building such as a living room or a kitchen and smaller part of the building such as bedrooms or restrooms. Some audio intercoms play music over the system. If you have a baby in the house, audio intercoms can be used as a baby monitor. This allows you to hear when the baby is crying or if the baby is sound asleep.
Video Intercoms have the same capabilities as their voice/audio-only counterparts but in addition to voice or audio communication, they allow you to see what activities are going on in different part of the building via a small video screen. This is a great tool for families with kids. Parents or other adult family members can check your kids while they are playing in their room or backyard while they are making dinner in the kitchen. Video intercoms are also useful to find out who is at the door before opening it. Some sophisticated video intercom systems allow you to unlock your front door from a different location.
Intercoms provide a number of uses for businesses by allowing them to communicate to multiple employees at the same time. For example, a large office or warehouse full of employees can be reached simultaneously through a single employee’s use of an intercom. Department and grocery stores use intercoms to communicate with both employees and customers. These stores are able to keep customers up-to-date on sales, closing times, or any other subject.
Intercoms are made up of different parts, and are thus sometimes referred to as intercom systems. These parts include master or bases stations, door stations, bus stations, belt packs, handsets, headsets, and power supplies. Intercom systems come in a variety of types including Two-wire broadcast intercoms, Four-wire broadcast intercoms, Wireless intercoms, and Telephone Intercoms.