Swiss Company Brings Electronic Cowbells to U.S. Schools

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AcroVista partners with Zurich-based Barix to release a unique school bell system that plays MP3 audio files, including chimes, baseball-themed sounds, and even cowbells. BellCommander replaces expensive and difficult to maintain school bell and intercom systems with a low-cost PC controlled network system.

The Swiss cowbells made famous in the Winter Olympics can now come to U.S. schools thanks to BellCommander, a unique school bell product released today through a partnership of Austin-based AcroVista and Zurich-based Barix.

BellCommander replaces expensive and difficult to maintain school bell and intercom systems with a PC controlled network system that plays MP3 files. Using BellCommander, the ubiquitous school bell can be replaced with more pleasant chimes, baseball-themed sounds, or even cowbells. BellCommander is a patent-pending alternative to electronic timers and traditional intercom systems that utilizes a school’s existing network infrastructure and PCs to create a complete school bell and announcement system. BellCommander is installed on a single server in a school where bell schedules are entered and the software controls computers and network devices across the school to play audio at scheduled times for school bells and announcements.

For areas where PCs are already present, such as in classrooms, an existing PC can be installed with a client application that will play audio when directed by the software. For areas where a PC would not be feasible, a device from Barix can be attached to the network physically or wirelessly and it will act like the PC clients and play audio when scheduled by BellCommander. Each PC and network device can receive different audio, so different classrooms can be on different bell schedules and announcements can be targeted to a single classroom.

BellCommander now supports the Exstreamer and Annuncicom lines of network audio devices from Barix. These devices attach to the network either by cable or wirelessly and play audio when directed by the BellCommander software. The hardware from Barix is specifically designed for commercial and industrial installations and is used globally in a wide-range of installations.

The BellCommander application was designed to be very easy-to-use, and in many schools, an assistant is able to enter the bell schedules without requiring a technical expert. The BellCommander software is priced very affordably in three versions ranging from $69.95 to $699.95, based on the size and complexity of the system and reseller programs are available. A free trial can be downloaded at the AcroVista website at http://www.acrovista.com/bellcommander. AcroVista is a recognized software developer with programs previosuly featured on TechTV and in numerous publications.

Representatives from Barix and AcroVista will be at the NCSA Expo at the Barix booth in Las Vegas, March 16th through March 18th.

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Danny Weidig
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