Barix Welcomes Ronni Guggenheim as CEO
icon4 10 2nd, 2013| icon3Comments Off

Seasoned executive makes worldwide company growth a priority

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, September 24, 2013 — IP audio and control specialist Barix ushers in a new era with the appointment of Ronni Guggenheim as CEO. Based in Zurich, Mr. Guggenheim takes the reins on October 1 — and he has big plans for the company.

“Barix has a stellar reputation as an IP technology pioneer and a very solid technology core, the majority of which is hardware-driven,” said Guggenheim. “We have an opportunity to increase market share by building a broader ecosystem with a stronger software focus.”

Guggenheim certainly understands technology, with recent leadership roles at Minicom Digital Signage and ComQi, a leading global digital signage technology supplier. The latter company formed through a merger between Minicom Digital Signage and EnQii, an effort which Guggenheim drove and executed. He brings additional leadership experience to Barix as former managing partner and CEO of neXius AG, where he drove strategy development and execution for hardware and software technology companies.

Guggenheim will leverage his proven leadership skills and business sense, along with a history of sales and marketing expertise, to take Barix to the next level — an exciting proposition for Barix founder Johannes G. Rietschel.

Rietschel has served as CEO of Barix since its inception in 2001, and will remain with the company as executive chairman and CTO. This will allow him to focus on his visionary and technology development skills as he relinquishes the daily operations and business strategy to Mr. Guggenheim.

“Barix has achieved excellent growth for 12 years, but we have reached a size where we need different entrepreneurial skillsets,” said Rietschel. “I will remain involved in the overall company vision but am getting back to focusing on technology, and ensuring we have the best to offer for our customers. Ronni brings the experience we need to build stronger sales channels and strategic focus worldwide. And I will work with him to guarantee greater acceleration of Barix’s success.”

Guggenheim’s digital signage experience is an ideal complement to Barix’s strategy in the retail and business space, where the company has a strong reputation and global customer base for in-store audio solutions. Guggenheim will bring an overall stronger vertical focus to the company, which also supplies technology solutions to the broadcast, security, entertainment and professional AV/installation markets. He will also further invest in relationships with existing OEM and channel partnerships, while paving the way for new alliances.

“At Barix, we have a well-developed, well-defined and established company that will break through to a new phase of revenue growth by building on the successes of our existing team — a team we will continue to rely on heavily,” he said. “We’ll quickly bring better clarity to our vertical and geographical focus, and we expect exponential development of the company as a result.”

Barix Speaks Simplicity at 2013 NAB Show
icon4 04 5th, 2013| icon3Comments Off

New enhancements to radio broadcast, partyline intercom solutions enhance quality and streamline configuration

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, April 2, 2013 — Barix comes to the 2013 show with new enhancements to its professional two-way IP audio solutions for broadcast radio and intercom, improving quality in sound and communications. Barix also continues to simplify system setup for customers, eliminating traditional IP configuration processes to have customers streaming audio within minutes.

The company will show its Partyline Intercom solution at the 2013 NAB Show, highlighting open-channel communications across multiple parties without audio interference — especially ideal in fast-paced video production environments. New enhancements eliminate the need to configure IP addresses and servers, stripping away the complexity often associated with multipoint IP audio system setup.

Barix will demonstrate how camera operators and other production personnel can use the compact Annuncicom PS1 on the move, utilizing a push-to-talk button with selectable audio channels to facilitate communications amongst directors and production personnel.

Radio Broadcast Solutions
Barix enhances its Exstreamer 500 bi-directional audio device at the 2013 NAB Show to improve audio quality and streaming flexibility. The device now supports both constant and variable bitrate, with the former added to simplify streaming to Shoutcast and Icecast servers – pertinent for extending how broadcasters incorporate Barix IP audio solutions for live streaming and syndicated program distribution. A new chip improves quality of the analog-to-digital conversion path to enhance professional broadcast sound.

The Exstreamer 500 is a multiprotocol encoder and decoder with balanced audio and professional I/O options for signal relay and control. In broadcast, it is ideal for STL and remote contribution applications. Broadcasters can simplify configuration using the Exstreamer 500 with the Barix Reflector Service, creating a complete streaming audio solution that replicates a received stream to an unlimited number of destinations through the public internet. The Reflector Service is based on a simple server-client architecture that removes IP address, server and other configuration hassles.

Demonstration to emphasize significance of audio integration into IP video systems for life safety and security

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, September 4, 2012 — Barix AG, a pioneer in IP-based audio, in-tercom, control, and monitoring, will exhibit at ASIS International (September 10-13, Philadelphia Con-vention Center) for the first time – bringing its range of IP audio and control solutions to the profes-sional security end user.

Barix will exhibit within the Milestone Systems booth (#3126), underlining the increasing significance of audio in surveillance operations, and the importance of improving audio quality and flexibility of distribution for live paging and public address.

“Security professionals have realized that video is no longer enough,” said Johannes G. Rietschel, CEO and founder of Barix AG. “Human beings have ears and a mouth to go with the eyes, and there is a clear advantage when all three of these senses are used in surveillance and other security-related appli-cations. The ability to cleanly integrate high-quality audio and video over a common IP network delivers cost savings and greatly simplifies installation for the user.”

Many video-centric security industry vendors have already integrated Barix audio over IP into their solutions, including industry leaders such as Milestone Systems. Milestone integrates Barix Exstreamer one-way and Annuncicom two-way IP audio devices into Milestone XProtect IP video management software to support paging and public address (one-way); and audio surveillance and intercom (two-way). Milestone also supports Barix Barionet IP control devices within its XProtect software to bridge physical device and software layers, effectively triggering camera movements and activating video recording based on motion, lights, doorbells and other events.

Barix will show its latest IP audio and control devices on the Milestone booth, including the Annuncicom 60 introduced this June and being shown to security audiences for the first time. The Annuncicom 60 is a low-cost IP audio device that serves as a gateway between VoIP, IP paging and intercom systems, and traditional components including call boxes, loudspeakers and microphones. The device offers plenty of flexibility, with operators able to issue verbal warnings or instructions to people under surveillance; or to communicate with callers at an SOS help point, for example.

Barix will also demonstrate how its latest Exstreamer audio output devices with Power over Ethernet (PoE) and built-in amplification can help end users consolidate and minimize technology components at end points — simplifying infrastructure and reducing deployment costs while offering very high audio quality for voice clarity.

Marcel van der Meijs, vice president of sales and marketing for Barix, will offer a presentation on Barix integration to XProtect at 11am, Wednesday, September 12 at the Milestone booth. Attendees will learn how IP audio can help security personnel more effectively draw attention to criminals, monitor activity and communicate, reliably trigger video recordings and alarms, and even deliver background music over the same network — with priority interruptions for page messages, warnings and security announcements.

“There is no limit to the benefits that audio can bring to video-centric security systems,” said van der Meijs. “The ability to talk back to a location in a city surveillance project, for example, can easily prevent a crime from taking place. And the ability to trigger lights and video in dark areas based on audio events can offer security personnel a clear picture into what is happening. Meanwhile, gunshots, screams and other emergency situations captured by these devices can automatically trigger alarms for immediate attention from monitoring centers. These are all important benefits that can make a real difference.”

Built-in amplifier, local input adds value for businesses broadcasting “retail radio” and multi-room distribution applications

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, August 29, 2011 — Barix AG comes to IBC 2011 (September 9-13, RAI Exhibition Centre, Amsterdam, Booth #3A48) with its next-generation Exstreamer IP Audio device for multipoint networks.

The Exstreamer 205 IP makes retail and hospitality applications dramatically simple. Each room or location requires a single Exstreamer 205, a network connection and power outlet, two common high-quality audio speakers and minimal wiring.

The device delivers a wealth of features to simplify infrastructure and reduce deployment costs for in-store media systems. Its built-in 2×25 watt, power-efficient class-D amplifier minimizes equipment needs at the end point, lowering costs while retaining superior audio quality. Businesses can distribute branded retail radio broadcasts, customized “store and play” programs, or simple background music streams to as many locations as the network can support, without the need for separate amplifiers.

The Exstreamer 205 is also the first Barix IP audio device to add a local, line-level stereo input. This allows direct connection of an in-zone audio source to the device for local playout. This is ideal where local, non-streaming content is available, whether from a guest’s iPod or a digital signage system.

“Exstreamer customers have requested an audio input to feed local content into the device, using its powerful, integrated high-quality amplifier,” said Johannes G. Rietschel, CEO and Founder of Barix. “This gives our customers more options for where to use Exstreamer products. Hotel and spa treatment rooms in larger hospitality systems are perfect examples.”

Businesses operating digital signage systems can also benefit from adding the Exstreamer 205 to out-of-home networks. Operators can establish a general background stream for the entire network, with the flexibility to interrupt the stream and play out local content at any location. Offline content protection is enhanced via a MicroSD slot, which enables local playout of (encrypted) content directly from the device while minimizing opportunities for theft or modification.

The Exstreamer 205 also offers priority ports for connection into a master paging system, such as the Barix Annuncicom PS16. This allows a facility manager, security guard or other operator to break into the network stream to make a page or announcement — also overruling any local audio sources.

Like previous models, the Exstreamer 205 decodes and plays multi-protocol and multi-format audio streams, including MP3, AACplusV2, WMA, PCM, G.711 and EtherSound. Volume and channel selection is controllable via an API through IP or serial port, a built-in IR receiver or the Barix Volume Source Control (VSC) device.

ITvilla implements Barix Barionet devices at the heart of a major automated access control system for efficient traffic management

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, August 2, 2011 — Barix announced today that ITvilla, an automation consulting company in Estonia, has standardized on Barix Barionet IP devices for automated access control at four busy shipping ports in Estonia. The Barionet devices play a key role in solving access, traffic, and network management challenges, integrated within an automated ticket and traffic management system that more efficiently manages traffic flows and entry ticket validation for passengers and vehicles.

The Estonian ports serve as a base for vehicle ships taking passengers to destinations in Estonia on the Baltic Sea and to surrounding countries such as Finland. Traffic volume is significant all year, and is especially high during the summer months. This translated to traffic congestion and long delays for ticket and passenger validation when using the manual entry system at the port and onto the ships.

ITvilla, an Estonian automation consulting and system integration company, was contracted to support the E-Port Project for four passenger ports, with an objective to reduce load times and allow faster access to greater volumes of vehicle traffic.

“The manual validation process for vehicles and passengers prior to driving onto the vessels proved very time-consuming,” said Neeme Takis, CEO of ITvilla. “It was decided that automated entry ticket validation and traffic management of waiting lines would allow for more efficient access. The E-Port Project required an IP controller that could manage configuration data for all types of peripheral hardware, understand all communication protocols, and manage the entry and exit sensor behavior for multiple types of vehicles passing through the port.”

ITvilla chose the Barix Barionet as the automation controller between the periphery devices and the server of the access system. The Barix Barionet provides both the physical and logical interface between the server and the peripheral devices, storing the periphery device configuration and driver software. It also translates the signals and commands between the peripheral devices and the server, offloading the server from device-dependent processing. The Barionet controllers additionally offload the server from simpler tasks such as barrier closure decision-making, which happens after the expected number of vehicles has passed.

“The Barix Barionet controllers are the heart of the project, efficiently meeting all of the E-Port Project’s access and traffic management requirements,” said Neeme Takis, CEO of ITvilla. “The middleware based on Barix controllers features strong network management support, quickly finding and resolving problems with network peripherals, and remotely controls and monitors vehicles and their passengers. This results in vastly improved traffic management and vehicle flow even during peak volume seasons.”

The Barix Barionet controllers are also responsible for logging signals and actions onto an external network server, managing the manual control option for peripheral devices, and sending regular status and immediate action data to an external monitoring system. These controllers provide remote support, and track the status and health of all E-Port Project peripheral devices.

One Barionet controller located in the outdoor ticket terminal device controls the bar code readers, keypad, VFD, buzzer, barrier and numeric displays; and reads vehicle presence and height sensors for one entry lane to the port.

There are a total of 16 Barionet controllers and Barix IO12 extension modules in each port. The controllers are connected via a LAN, including an optical ring for the longest connections. The server is connected to the same LAN. The WLAN extension of the LAN enables control of the loading process from the board of the vessel, using PDA devices.

“The E-port Project is a nice example of the flexible and cost-effective use of the Barix Barionet in infrastructure projects,” said Johannes G. Rietschel, CEO and Founder of Barix AG. “The open Barix approach provides Barix partners with easy integration and utilization of Barix product offerings. Integrators and project managers can quickly and easily build unique solutions for challenging installations. The ease of use, coupled with strong product functionality in remote monitoring and automated access control, enabled ITvilla to easily write a custom application on the Barionet controllers that operates reliably on our standard, cost-effective devices.”

The Barix Barionet is a network-enabled, programmable automation controller for industrial automation and facility management systems. It is pre-loaded with a web configuration and user interface application for monitoring and control of all on-board I/O functions. Custom applications can be developed using the built-in BCL interpreter (Barix Control Language).

The Barionet supports standard interfaces such as SNMP, CGI, HTTP, and Modbus/TCP to access local I/O and program functions. It supports a broad variety of standard protocols such as TCP/IP, SNMP, HTTP, and CGI. It communicates over a standard built-in 10/100 Ethernet port, making the devices ideal for automation and monitoring applications in buildings, industry and IT systems.

All,

there is a new application firmware out for the Barix IP Audio devices. SIP Client version v01.07 brings a major change intended to make the use of the devices much more easy.
The Web UI, through which the device is configured, now offers “profiles”, to allow easy configuration of different use cases

1) SIP phone
This profile is intended for applications on bidirectional devices, for applications which are similar or identical to a SIP phone. The Barix devices can be used ideally in call stations, help points etc, preconfigured numbers can be called using the contact closure inputs etc.

2) SIP paging endpoint with Background Music support
This profile works on all devices which provide output capability (all Exstreamer and Annuncicom devices) and is typically used for “IP Speaker” application or to drive a paging amplifier.

3) SIP door station
This profile enables typical door station functionality, is able to operate in automatic “half duplex” mode to support simple door intercom panels (Aiphone), and also allows to activate a relay via SIP Info/DTMF to open the door.

4) SIP gateway
An interesting “glueware” application, when this is selected, the device can work as a “SIP to standard Multicast RTP” converter, will serve as an endpoint, and re-broadcast (or multicast) the received audio stream so it can be used with any device which can play audio from a standard RTP stream.

5) SIP based audio monitoring
This mode is typically used for audio surveillance, covert operations, etc. In this mode, the device can establish a call silently to a configured destination if it picks up audio above a certain level.

The SIP application firmware now supports the PS16, the desktop IP paging station from Barix, and on the Annuncicom 155, even the microphone and speaker supervision are supported.

The firmware can be downloaded, as usual, from our website free of charge and devices can be updated via browser.
Johannes

New Annuncicom 155 solution allows for on-vehicle configuration of reliable communication systems based on existing LAN/WAN infrastructures

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, August 24, 2010 — Barix AG, a pioneer in IP-based audio transmission, intercom, control and monitoring systems, introduces the Annuncicom 155 IP intercom and announcement device developed foremost for use on trains and in rail stations and tunnels.

The device, to be introduced at the Innotrans rail transportation show in Germany (Messe Berlin Exhibition Centre, September 21–24, Hall 4.1, Stand 216), enables systems integrators to set up tailored communication systems ranging from simple door intercom, PA and background music systems to complex monitoring functions and emergency announcement systems.  It is also the first Barix device to meet EN50155 standard requirements for rail vehicle installations.  (“Railways Applications Electronic Equipment Used on Rolling Stock.”)

The basic principle of an Annuncicom 155 communication system is both elaborate and simple.  At least two devices are connected to a standard TCP/IP LAN network to exchange live announcements as well as priority, monitoring and control information for a standalone system.  Barix SIP firmware can enable integration into conventional SIP-based telephone systems.  Control signals and a serial port allow the connection of a selector switch, buttons or display.  This allows for destination selection and the control and display of connection status.

The Annuncicom 155 system can operate as a standalone system or in conjunction with PCs and central IT management in a standard network, enabling low-cost and quick configuration of the communication system while guaranteeing future expansion.

“As with all Barix products, the Annuncicom 155 is based on standard TCP/IP and works with Audio-over-IP.  This means it can be integrated very easily and conveniently into existing networks, and allows for wide-range networking and deployment – even in Multicast mode to simultaneously address any number of subscribers,” said Johannes G. Rietschel, CEO and Founder of Barix AG.  “Its stable design is perfectly suitable for harsh everyday operation in trains, buses and ships, as well as for deployment in general applications under harsh environments, including transport and industrial.”

The Annuncicom 155 conforms to the usual transportation standards including EN50121 and EN50155.  Devices without EN50155 conformity are typically not used in trains, carriages and other rolling stock for railways.

“The requirements for such devices are quite demanding, and we are happy to offer the first Barix product to the rail transportation industry that meets requirements for on-board use,” said Rietschel.

Many people use IP Phones at home. A very popular phone is the Siemens Gigaset product range, which provides analog line as well as VoIP/SIP connectivity. Models C470IP, C475IP, S675IP and S685IP are currently in the market.

But .. how do you connect a door intercom or door station to them ?

Fortunately, the latest SIP firmware for the Annuncicom makes a perfect companion for the Siemens Gigaset IP phones, it can talk with the Siemens phone via IP !

  • A visitor, who presses the “ring” button on the phone, places a SIP call to the Siemens base. This can be done “peer-to-peer”, so it won’t consume an account entry, and it does not need a PBX or server to work.
  • The DECT phones will ring, indicating a call from the IP address of the Annuncicom
  • The user can answer the phone talk to the person in front of the door, and also open the door by typing a configurable number sequence on the keypad (for example, “11″).
  • Even multiple Annuncicoms can be used in this fashion, for example, for front door and back door !

The solution works, of course, also with other SIP PBXes like Asterisk, but the beauty with the Siemens IP phones is that there is no servers, no PBX, only little configuration needed.

Contact us if you are interested in more details, or check out our wiki pages.

Johannes

Barix devices can be perfectly used for IP intercom and emergency call post purposes. Our free ICGraph application (download from the website) can serve well for a PC based central solution, and we also offer a hardware console now (made by our OEM, MS Neumann Elektronik, who builds fully certified evacuation and industrial/oil and gas intercom systems using our IPAM IP Audio module).

However, what do you do if you need to handle potentially hundreds or thousands of call stations ?

Well – our SIP firmware comes to the rescue ! It can be used on all our IP Audio devices and makes them compliant to the standard SIP functionality – but with a twist: the source code is open, so you can add special behavior to the devices (and we can also do for you !)

As the central management software/solution, you can use any SIP based PBX, such as (free) Asterisk. You can typically configure hunt groups, queues, nighttime calling plans etc in a PBX easily, and use standard IP phones as consoles. Why re-invent the wheel if this is all available?

Of course, you can monitor the whole system independently from the PBX, add emergency capabilities (“all call” without the use of the PBX), background music etc.

We are happy to help planning such a solution – applications are numerous, being it an IP based nurse call system, highway emergency call boxes, a PA and intercom system for public transport … or an IP Audio entertainment and communications system for a cruise ship.

Johannes