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CES 2019 Round up

By Safe Zone News

From smart tractors to 8K TVs to a plethora of new smart assistants, here are some of the tech trends coming out of CES 2019.

One of the tech trends featured by NBC News is Safe Zone’s gunfire detection system, which can detect gunfire, all 911, and even identify the type of firearm used.

It’s a simple and affordable piece of technology that aims to fix an incredibly complicated social problem.


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BEST OF CES 2019: The Craziest and Coolest New Technologies That Might Even Matter

By Safe Zone News

The first days of January were brightened again by the annual electronics and innovation circus called CES. The Wall Street Journal tech team ventured to Las Vegas to find clues about the future. The WSJ roundup of the show’s best (and weirdest) isn’t filled with things you’re likely to own—or necessarily even want—but they all point to trends on the horizon that we’re keen to follow.

Safe Zone Gunfire Detector

If you’re in a building with an active shooter, you might be able to hear gunfire but you might not know where it’s coming from. With its gunfire detection system, the startup Safe Zone aims to reduce the time it takes personnel and authorities to locate a shooter. The small, triangular devices, intended for schools and offices, can be attached in the corners of rooms or hallways, each covering about 9,000 cubic feet of space. The detectors capture infrared and acoustic signatures which get analyzed in the cloud. If a gun is fired, an app will display the location and number of the shots—even analysis of the type of weapon being used—then offer to call 911.

Safe Zone Gunfire Detector: The system automatically detects, analyzes, and reports gunfire to local authorities

By Safe Zone News

Safe Zone, a Melbourne, Florida technology start-up, announced it will introduce its Safe Zone Gunfire Detector (GFD) at CES 2019 (January 8-11, 2019) in the Stampede Booth #25708 in South Hall 2, as reported by Facility Executive. gunfire detector

“The Safe Zone Gunfire Detection System is the active shooter security breakthrough a very troubled world has been waiting for,” Safe Zone President Mike Anderson said. “Unlike the handful of older, slower, and more expensive solutions currently available, the Safe Zone system responds within 10 seconds to an active shooter situation, analyzing the on-the-ground situation and automatically communicating with all key personnel, from first responders to school administrators to parents and management.”

According to Anderson, statistics show it takes an average of five minutes for police to be notified of an active shooter situation by someone on scene, due to the chaos and immediate danger presented.

“In an active shooter situation, saving minutes saves lives,” Anderson said. “Existing gunfire detection systems are limited in functionality and are prohibitively expensive for many locations, so we knew we could build something better and far more affordable that would save more lives. Now with the Safe Zone Gunfire Detector, every institution from schools to small businesses and hotels, can ensure the fastest possible law enforcement response to an active shooter situation.”

Designed and manufactured in the U.S., the Safe Zone Gunfire Detector is a small (less than 3″ x 3″) triangular unit that mounts in a ceiling corner and provides gunfire detection for an area of up to 9,000 ft3. It utilizes the latest Wi-Fi communication and cloud-based machine learning technologies to send and analyze data that returns usable information to local law enforcement and on-site administrators. Unlike many other gunfire detection solutions, Safe Zone can be connected to third-party alarm, surveillance, door lock, and mass notification systems.

Each Safe Zone detector monitors ambient noise and infrared level, with a full second of data recorded around any instance of a sudden increase in noise or light level. If an Infrared flash or sound more than 10 dB louder than ambient noise is detected, all detectors in range send the captured acoustic and IR signals to Safe Zone’s cloud-based machine learning system where they are compared against a database of thousands of signatures of known firearms and other non-firearm disturbances. The system analyzes more than 3,000 data points in each record. False alarms like car backfires, firecrackers, or balloons popping are filtered out through their distinct acoustic signatures.

By utilizing the data from multiple detectors simultaneously, the system determines the location of shots fired, the number of shots, and the type and caliber of gun being used. Within 10 seconds of the trigger pull, an alert is sent to Public Safety Access Points in the appropriate dispatch center, giving local 911 dispatchers all the critical information right on their computer. This can greatly reduce the time needed to locate and engage shooters, as experts say officers arriving on scene would normally take up to 12 minutes to obtain usable information from shocked, and often conflicting, witnesses.

“The system immediately notifies anyone with the Safe Zone app, plus anyone on pre-built e-mail and text message lists, helping people on-site to avoid encountering the shooters,” explained Anderson. “By knowing the location of a shooter and their capabilities, first responders can be properly prepared, and bystanders can get to a safe zone.”

“We are living in a time where active shooters are a real concern for everyday citizens conducting normal business,” Anderson added. “Shooters tend to continue assaults until confronted, so helping law enforcement to locate shooters up to 17 minutes faster could save countless lives and improve other first responders’ ability to minimize damage and administer emergency care. That’s why we designed the Safe Zone Gunfire Detector to be as affordable and fast as possible—Saving Minutes Saves Lives.”

Property Managers can increase the capability of their Safe Zone Gunfire Detection system with additional Safe Zone security products including door and window sensors, silent alert units, and wall-mounted emergency duress buttons.


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Seedfunders’ portfolio company gets national spotlight ahead of CES

By Safe Zone News

On the heels of a $350,000 investment from Seedfunders, AVidea Group Inc. has a new CEO and is preparing to roll out its gunfire detection technology at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, as reported by the St. Pete Catalyst.

The new CEO, Mike Lally, is a veteran of the sensor industry and a good fit for AVidea, whose flagship product, dubbed “Safe Zone Gunfire Detector,” uses sensors to analyze active shooter situations and automatically alert authorities.

The technology is getting lots of attention because of the high volume of mass shootings in the past year or two, said David Chitester, CEO of Seedfunders, a St. Petersburg-based early-stage investment company. AVidea has been featured in at least four industry publications highlighting the company’s upcoming appearance at  CES, the annual trade show organized by the Consumer Technology Association. CES is among the most high-profile venues for new product launches and is expected to attract about 180,000 people from 155 countries this year.

The company also has a new marketing plug; it can say its products are “made in the United States.” AVidea originally planned to manufacture products in Vietnam but found a plant in Melbourne, where the company is headquartered, Chitester said. While domestic manufacturing means the cost per unit is higher, it also means that the company can do quality control on-site, saving time, and providing a branding advantage, he said. AVidea raised the cost of the product to $149 to cover the added manufacturing cost.

The Safe Zone Gunfire Detector is a small triangular unit that mounts in a ceiling corner and provides gunfire detection for an area of up 9,000-square-feet, AVNetwork reported.

The system can determine the location of shots fired, the number of shots, and the type and caliber of gun involved. It uses WiFi and cloud-based machine learning technologies and sends the information to local law enforcement and on-site administrators in less than 10 seconds, the report said.

AVidea expects to deliver its first products in January. It has at least $6 million in pre-orders and that number is expected to skyrocket after CES, Chitester said.

Seedfunders had planned to make its $350,000 investment in AVidea in two tranches, but fully funded the company based on high investor interest, including a significant investment from an acquaintance of Lally, the new CEO.

Chitester initially was reluctant to invest in AVidea because no one in Seedfunders had experience with the technology. But he changed his mind after meeting Lally, a second-generation entrepreneur whose father and uncle founded PCB Piezotronics, a Depew, New York-based firm that designs and manufactures sensors. After graduating from Cornell University in 1986, Mike Lally joined the University of Cincinnati Structural Dynamics research laboratory and later founded The Modal Shop, part of the PCB Group.

Lally, who now lives in the Tampa Bay area, has both technical and operational expertise, according to a profile on AVidea’s website.

Lally did his own due diligence on AVidea, before buying out the original investor and becoming CEO, Chitester said.

That freed Mike Anderson, co-founder, president and chief operating officer, to return to sales, which he wanted to do, Chitester said.

Irv Cohen, a Seedfunders partner who now chairs the AVidea board of directors, is overseeing financials for the company.


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