In brief: As public shootings seemingly become more common, journalists, politicians, and citizens alike demand solutions. While a full remedy might not be on the horizon anytime soon, Athena Security has come up with a way to at least mitigate the damage shooters can do with their latest AI-powered security camera. The device can automatically detect guns and notify emergency services, potentially before a crime even occurs.
There may be quite a bit of controversy surrounding the use of facial recognition tech for law enforcement purposes, but that hasn't stopped the industry from pressing forward. Amazon's "Rekognition" technology is already in use at police departments throughout the US, despite widespread public backlash.
Naturally, facial recognition is only one use AI-powered cameras have - they can also be used for less-controversial purposes, like recognizing bombs, chemical weapons, or other dangerous objects.
Athena Security has developed one such device: a "crime prevention camera" camera that can automatically recognize guns and inform the appropriate parties. For example, it could call the police and notify school administrators if a school shooter enters an educational institution.
Better yet, as Engadget reports, Athena's system can integrate with existing smart security systems. If the camera detects a threat, it can automatically lock doors, trigger alarms, and even stop elevators, which could drastically mitigate the damage a would-be criminal could do.
The biggest security game-changer here, though, is automation and speed. In an active shooting scenario, a quick emergency service response is vital. By automatically detecting weapons, Athena's tech could potentially bring police to the area before anybody even gets hurt.
Athena's AI camera can also give police an easy way to avoid false alarms by live streaming "real-time information" directly to them, though it may be tough for the company to convince police departments to use its app.
If you're in the market for a security camera like this, Athena's "Unlimited Professional" package might fit the bill.
It will cost you $100 per month, per camera, but it offers "1-year recordings" (whatever that means) as well as people, license plate, gun, and fight detection. Finally, it's the only package that includes smart security system integration.