Gun Detection Analytics Are Here, Says Startup

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Jul 03, 2014

A timely innovation, or cashing in on tragedies?

A new video analytics company is touting its 'gun detection' analytics that can trigger as soon as a weapon is drawn, potentially alerting authorities in seconds and saving lives.

Are they crazy, or will this be a powerful defense against active shooters and lower the risk of gun violence? We spoke with the company and take a look at its features, pricing and positioning inside.

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Key **************

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Comments (11)

What about pop-tarts chewed into the shape of a gun?

Or, just pointing out a pretty bird to a class-mate? Finger-pointing constitutes an assault weapon these days.

I can only imagine the number of false alarms this will produce.

Given that trained police officers often have a hard time distinguishing a firearm, I am suspect about this system.

In the given demos, there are no other people around, giving a clear view.

I'll put on my 'companies are buying the government' tin foil hat and say that they'll advertise this, get it on the news, lobby congress to require it, and make a @#$% ton of money.

Next time anyone draws a gun and shoots up a place, we will see the media and the family's declaring that this would have saved them.

At $4,000 per camera, a college campus with 1000 cameras would need $4 million to start with. I see people taking cameras down rather than being forced to have that expense.

Even if this product works 100% as advertised, it is difficult seeing the value for the expense.

If a guy is brandishing a gun out in the open, he is most likely seconds away from using it. At best this system warns me seconds ahead of time? ...that's not much early response to be gained by this analytic.

With the substantial analysis of recent mass-shootings, I'm not sure I have heard anyone claim the problem is instant notification and awareness of the shooter.

Even if this product works 100% as advertised, it is difficult seeing the value for the expense.

If it works 100% as advertised, it is actually easy to see the value for the expense. NONE!

Can anyone explain what they are even claiming on their critical, make-or-break page, titled "How Does SafeZone Save Lives?".

This is a recreation of the page, my comments in <italics>

How Does SafeZone Save Lives?

What would happen today if an armed gunman or gunmen attacked a building where you are, or where your children are, or where your employees are? Would an effective response be launched and prevent the loss of lives?

<The implication is no. Note: the promise of an Automatic Threat Response by the title of the picture>

Here is a video of a simulated gunman attack on a public meeting space

In this video clip, the gunman is present for approximately 60 seconds. If this were a real attack with a full room of people, dozens of people would have been hurt.

<Agreed. But what can be done to save them?>

So how does this scenario change with SafeZone?

Here are the results possible with SafeZone detection and response support

The threat is detected and a response is launched in 10 seconds, before an attack can be mounted. <I see no response launched! Or if one is it's certainly not stopping the mounting of the attack, which continues in all windows unabated!> Responders would have a chance to engage the gunman, potential victims would be alerted of the gunman's presence, and automatic defensive systems (such as door locks) could be engaged.

<Were some doors locked, somewhere? What am I missing?>

Well, that's just in that there scenario! They have more analytics that regular folk might find handy:

I'm sure y'all had this one happen to you: You just finish installing a ski slalom pole in the middle of your front, corner view yard in July, and then your onry neighbor has the nerve to walk right up to it in broad daylight and graffiti all over it. But that never has to happen again...

It looks easy nuff to detect graffiti in broad day light 10 feet away from you with a straight on FOV, but have another gander, the scene is a might bit tricky. Watch how the analytical thing will not be distracted by the possible garbage digger (who doesn't seem to mind the graffitist) nor by the seasick tilt of the whole apparently "crooked" street.

Disclaimer: I am being facetious here, and am really not impressed with this at all. Are y'all?

Did the company itself give an estimated false/missed alarm percentage. If they refuse to give one, or say it's 100% accurate, you know that it's probably bunk.

Watch the rifle detection video. It appears as if the analytic will only detect an object as a rifle if it is held in a firing position (parallel to the ground). And even then, it doesn't maintain a lock on the rifle once it has been detected as such, reacquiring, then losing the target box continuously as the shooter moves down range.

Below is another video from these guys showing how their analytic can tell that a broom isn't a rifle. But it has problems telling that a rifle is a rifle too... :)

Notice the difficulty the analytic has in detecting (and reacquiring) the actual rifle unless the rifle is held (in a firing position) perpendicular to the camera... i.e. if the rifle is pointed at the camera (or in any direction except sideways to the camera) the analytic won't recognize it as a rifle.

So, some dudes got together and catalogued pictures of known firearms (from a side view perspective only apparently), built an analytic to look for these images in camera FOVs, and claim they have a firearm detector that is worth $4K/camera.

As Brian already mentioned, even if it worked flawlessly and immediately identified every firearm in a FOV, what is the 'value' of such a thing?

Keep in mind that any funds spent on these types of gimmick (imo) solutions are not being spent on other security 'things' that actually possess value. So, a case can be made that 'solutions' such as these actually come with a negative value.

...so we expect that the product will draw interest and perhaps heartache.

Why heartache, because they will deploy it and a situation will ensue where it was needed but failed to 'perform'? More likely would be deployment followed by false broom alarms leading to heartburn.

Liked the "Going to Draw Interest" bit.

Pun Score: B+

This is the Redeemed Rambo deployed by helicopter in Southeast Asia, fighting the good fight by Uzing any and every means to bring the boys back home:

And Ari and I* would appreciate his good image not be sullied by yet another association with an agressively stupid active shooter product.

*Possibly Marty also, though he might have just been messin' with us.

Now hold on just a sec, before you BRate BRhodes, you might take a lil look see at yonder rectangle. On account of it not being all red boxed, like all the other clearly contrasted guns are. That means it identifies the weapon, but has also id's the possessor!

And that new-fangled Rambolytic detector is thrilled to see Mr. Balboa give somebody a buzz cut or even help move a bullet-proofed bookshelf in front of a grammar school door.

You see the Rock ain't the disease, he's the cure...

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