The U.S. company Athena Security has developed a smart camera system which is reportedly 99 percent accurate when it comes to spotting guns in video footage. It can then be used to alert law enforcement automatically, potentially saving lives in the process. The technology is already being employed at Archbishop Wood High School in Warminster, Pennsylvania, among other locations.
“The technology works by using computer vision A.I. algorithms to detect objects, and also measure the velocity of objects to determine what are clients are looking for,” Chris Ciabarra, chief technical officer and co-founder of Athena Security, told Digital Trends. “The main hardware technologies use CUDA cores by Nvidia for the processing of the information and Nvidia’s DGX-1 box, which we think has the fastest GPUs on the market, for processing our computer vision algorithms.”
In a scenario like a school shooting, Ciabarra says that the system would result in the police being called within minutes of a shooter (or would-be shooter) pulling out a gun for the first time. In a best-case scenario, the Athena Gun Detection System might serve as enough of a deterrent that causes the gunman to flee before shooting anyone. In a worst-case scenario, it would still mean police arriving more quickly on the scene, and potentially medics being alerted to the situation more rapidly as well.
“[The technology] is ready to go, and we are installing [it] into schools that want the students to be safe, corporations that value their employees’ safety, and homes that want to protect themselves and their loved ones,” Ciabarra continued.
Installing the technology is as simple as providing Athena with the IP address being used by an existing security camera system, after which the company will take over and plug it into their cloud-based system. In the event that no cameras are yet installed, Athena can also provide these as part of its package.
While protecting against potential shootings has so far grabbed the most press coverage, Ciabarra notes that the same technology can also be used to identify potentially less lethal incidents, such as a fight or a slip and fall. The camera tech can additionally be connected to other third-party security technologies — for instance, making it possible to stop elevators or lock security doors in the event that a certain behavior is identified.