Last winter, when Sean Greene, executive vice president and COO of zoo operations at the Dallas Zoo, wanted to improve guests’ auditory experience during the park’s annual holiday Zoo Lights, he reached out to integration technology expert Magnum Power Security.
After having recently installed a Deva multimedia system at the world-famous Cincinnati Zoo, Mark Meding, CEO of Magnum Power Security, saw the Dallas Zoo had similar needs which included finding a multimedia system that offered flexible, wireless audio. So, he presented Deva: an all-in-one wireless solution featuring an HD camera, high-quality speakers and ambient sensors.
“The Dallas Zoo was looking for a robust, multi-functional system for its popular Zoo Lights event,” said Meding. “The cost of an audio, video and security system was nearly three times the cost of the Deva system which is more robust in the way of features. The Zoo also needed the ability to expand and repurpose the hardware when needed, such as moving the units around the zoo. Therefore, the Deva system was the right choice for its combination of cost, flexibility and quality.”
Ahead of the Zoo Lights opening in November 2019, Greene and his team installed 12 Deva speakers to place in the Zoo North section of the park.
“Purchasing the units enhanced the Zoo Lights event as we wanted more ambient sounds and the ability to play holiday music as guests walked around the park looking at the holiday lights,” Greene said. “Playing the holiday music over Devas’ added a whole extra element to the event. The senses definitely come alive when you pair music with the visual displays.”
However, when the Covid-19 pandemic hit a few months later, Deva’s flexibility came in handy and Greene turned to the system for a very different application: to share important safety messaging, including wearing face coverings and washing hands.
“We were closed down for almost three months, and when we reopened, we had to think differently about guest safety and the new precautions we had to relay to them,” Greene said. “We are now using Deva units to parlay constant reminders to our guests, such as welcoming them back, reminding them to wear their masks and maintain social distancing.”
Thanks to Deva’s wireless capabilities, Greene and his team were able to move the units from their location in Zoo North during the Zoo Lights and space them around the 100-acre park for the safety reminders, which run every 15-20 minutes.
In addition to announcing safety precautions, the safety messaging also shares which features of the zoo are open and closed on that specific day.
“Deva allows us the opportunity to let our guests know which Zoo areas are available on the particular day that they are visiting and to adjust the messaging as needed,” Greene explained.
Flexibility & Function
Deva system’s wireless capabilities proved to be helpful during the pandemic, allowing Greene to move the units to key placements where guests could benefit most from the safety announcements.
“Having the flexibility when it comes to the location of where we put Deva units has been key,” Greene said. “If we don’t like the location, we can move them around as long as we have the infrastructure in place. You’re not limited to just hard-wired applications as the Devas also have the wireless option. It’s definitely one of the most meaningful features.”
In addition to high sound quality, Greene said Deva’s weather-proofed exterior has also made it a reliable solution.
“The devices have held up well,” he said. “We bought some of the lighter color units because we thought they would be best for the hot Texas sun and so far, they have held up great.”
Once the pandemic slows, Greene said he is looking forward to using the Deva system to its full functionality.
“We are just learning about how to Deva to its maximum capacity,” he said. “They are really solid units, and we will look to scale up in the future when we can.”
For more information on Deva, visit magnumpowersecurity.com.