ShotSpotter image courtesy of MapBox via Flickr.
With connected devices on the rise, it was only a matter of time before the “things” aspect of the Internet of Things applied to nouns more dangerous than toasters. That’s right — wireless weapons are almost here.
But it’s not all sinister — in fact, a lot of newfangled police technology is focused specifically on improving safety through smart data sensing.[contextly_auto_sidebar id=”y18JizsQ73nRXJ6iRAAbN5pw8hiAUfNZ”]Specifically, sensor technology appears to be revolutionizing not only how you and I understand the world, but how potential threats are analyzed and detected by authorities.
Here’s a look at how developments in technology aim to add new layers of intelligence to help law enforcement, military, and private security firms sense weapon usage.
Yardarms: Firearms sensing location and deployment
Yardarm Technologies has created the world’s first wireless performance sensor for firearms. It’s meant to deliver more information about gun use, and is currently being field tested by police agencies.
The California based startup raised $1.5 million in their first 18 months, and hopes their technology will give organizations a new level of awareness surrounding firearm usage and response to crisis.
Yardarm Technologies’ Yardarm sensor, when equipped to firearms, streams advanced real-time datasets to the Yardarm cloud, recording and tracking the details of gun deployment. Capabilities include:
- Geo-location: Location awareness, history, and real-time alerts
- Holster/unholster: When an officer unholsters his weapon, dispatch can be notified immediately for assistance
- Discharge: Alerts are immediately sent to dispatch when a weapon is fired
- Direction of fire/aim: Real-time cording of the direction and aim provides valuable data for use in crime scene investigation and prosecution
According to the company’s website, “by instantly alerting commanders and command centers of critical events in the field, Yardarm allows organizations to respond and support officers in the field faster than ever before, greatly enhancing efficiency and officer safety.”
SiN-VAPOR: Military gear sensing attacks
In 2013, Navy researches developed a nano-sensor called SiN-VAPOR that could be used to enhance the situational awareness of military gear in order to detect chemical or biological weapons.
In theory, such data could be aggregated and connected through electronic devices through an app or other system.
For soldiers, the ability to detect IEDs (improvised explosive devices) through sensory gear could save both army personnel and civilians from homemade bombs — in the field, at airports, or even on a personal level.
ShotSpotter: Your city sensing gun crime
In relation to law enforcement, another notable company is ShotSpotter, an intelligent gunshot sensing system used in cities across the globe to wirelessly track gunfire.
ShotSpotter’s sensors, instead of being equipped in weapons as is the case with Yardarm, are embedded throughout a city or neighborhood to listen for gunshots and provide all relevant data to the police. It’s used in San Francisco, Miami, and Boston, Washington DC, amongst others, where it’s been mostly a success.
The system hopes to depict an accurate and real-time picture of gun crime by detecting and delivering an extensive digital record of gun usage. Such records help city law enforcement have an acute awareness of and the ability to respond to shooters, whether police or civilian.
- With wireless weapons, police can respond faster to threats, provide exact evidence, and hold officers and civilians accountable for every shot
- Sensor technology used by law enforcement and the military can detect danger through the collecting of crucial data
- Real-time, wireless connectivity ensures authorities enact the best response to weapon usage and provide accounts for such incidents quickly and accurately.
Originally published on November 4, 2014