The smoke detector is ubiquitous in businesses and homes throughout the United States. The small, inconspicuous design and discrete placement of these devices make them easy to overlook on a day-to-day basis. However, smoke detectors provide an invaluable service to society; silently, they protect hundreds of millions of Americans from the threat posed by house fires. In emergency situations, these tiny devices provide crucial early detections that reduce firefighters’ response times, allow residents to evacuate the premises, and ultimately save lives.
However, it was not always this way. Only a century ago, an individual involved in a house fire had as much as a one in ten chance of perishing. With no mechanism for prevention or early detection, valuable minutes might pass before first responders even received word of a blaze. In industrial towns and large cities, these fires often grew into uncontrollable infernos that leveled entire city blocks and displaced thousands of people.
The smoke detector revolutionized fire mitigation and control. The first marketable heat and smoke detector was invented by George Andrew Darby of Birmingham, England in 1902. Several decades later, Swiss physicist Walter Jaeger stumbled upon a technique for smoke detection that paved the way for future innovations in the field. However, American entrepreneur Duane Persall – referred to as the “father of smoke detectors” – changed the industry forever by inventing the first compact, battery-powered smoke detection model. This simple and proactive solution has reduced the likelihood that an individual perishes in a house fire by a factor of more than ten.
Like house fires, incidents of gun violence are almost impossible to accurately predict. As the gun violence epidemic rages throughout cities and towns of the nation, it is increasingly evident that reactionary solutions are insufficient to match the threat posed by active shooters. In addition, we know that some of these tragedies are avoidable; in many instances, active shooters display a visible firearm as long as twenty minutes before first shots.
At ZeroEyes, we believe that new-age solutions are possible. Using cutting-edge artificial intelligence and machine learning technology, we convert existing security cameras into real-time weapons detection “smoke detectors”. As a software overlay, our platform constantly monitors camera feeds while asking one simple question: “Is there a firearm in this image?” If a weapon is detected and verified by a human operator, our technology immediately sends police dispatchers, local security touchpoints, and other qualified individuals accurate information about the location and weapon of the shooter. In addition, our software can automatically connect with VMS and access control systems to lock down buildings and respond proactively to a threat. In short, we offer an additional layer of security that can stop threats at first sight, not at first shot.
Once upon a time, it would have been unthinkable to people that a small machine could provide early warning of a fire. Nowadays, modern technology has afforded the same opportunity for mass shooter events. Like a smoke detector, we develop simple, proactive, and effective solutions to catch emerging threats before a tragedy occurs. When seconds matter, offering this degree of early detection may tip the balance from the shooter to law enforcement and other first responders. Although a future without gun violence or mass shootings is unlikely, we have the ability to take tangible steps to reduce their impact, support first responders, and save lives.