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Summit Integrates IPAWS in ATMOS

Company adds several features to its weather report automation

Summit ATMOS

Summit Technology Group says it has added features to its ATMOS Weather Reporting product, including an IPAWS integration that provides more natural-sounding emergency alerts.

“Stations that choose to ignore optional EAS alerts can instead provide an unobtrusive, natural-sounding announcement in its place to convey the same message,” the company said.

“Furthermore, users can use ATMOS’ advanced scripting language (known as ATMOS Markup Language) to create scripts that suit their station branding and include their station name or slogan. When integrated with automation, the product can produce an alert announcement and gracefully insert it into the playlist.”

ATMOS is used by radio and TV stations to automate weather reports in a natural-sounding manner. It uses customizable script templates and AI-powered synthesized speech.

Summit President Paul Stewart was quoted in the announcement saying the intent of the IPAWS integration was to improve public safety in creating alerts that deliver the message without a robotic voice and are delivered without preempting a station’s programming.

“We heard far too often that optional alerts were being ignored on account of the National Weather Service voice engines sounding too robotic and jarring,” he said.

Summit worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to implement the interface needed to receive IPAWS alerts, he said. The interface is built on a cloud-based process that is hosted by redundant, geographically-separated tier-3 data centers.

Also new, Sponsor Manager provides a tool to manage advertisers and underwriters and appending their messages to weather reports.

“The new tool allows a user to create a sponsor, write a script, schedule the message and even track the number of times the weather report was performed. This is important considering each weather report may be aired numerous times an hour as prescribed by a station’s format and audience behavior,” the company said.

While the concept isn’t new, Stewart said, the environment makes it easy to edit, synthesize and schedule messages.

Also, ATMOS can now integrate with EAS equipment manufacturers, providing the ability to automate Required Weekly Tests from within ATMOS or through most automation or playout software suites. “This functionality is especially useful when inserted into a playlist to provide graceful execution of RWTs that do not interfere with programming or traffic breaks.”

ATMOS can be configured to provide a linear PCM (wav) file for ingest into automation or can be configured to play out the audio report directly. Subscribers are delivered a desktop application compatible with Windows 7, 8, 10, and Server 2014 or newer.