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Safe Zone News

RIoT’s RAP pitch night showcases diverse spread of IoT applications

By Safe Zone News

RALEIGH (WRAL) – From environmentally friendly pet cremation to smart lighting solutions, the full scope of Internet of Things (IoT) applications was on display at RIoT’s second RAP Pitch Night on Wednesday night.

More than 150 people crammed into the Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh to check out the latest on offer, and they also got to have their say.

For the popular vote, the audience selected Safe Zone — a gunshot detection device developed by Florida-based AVidea Group that uses a network of acoustic and infrared sensors to identify gunshots and dispatch first responders.

“One of the big things we wanted to get from this event is awareness, and get in front of people and get those valuable connections and good feedback,” said Safe Zone’s co-founder John Anderson. “This is another step in the right direction.”

12-WEEK ACCELERATOR PROGRAM

The competition was the culmination of a 12-week accelerator program facilitated by RiOT that aims to support IoT companies by partnering them with more than 85 companies across the value chain.

Final participants were selected from a pool of applicants from around the country.

The endgame: to bring products to market and create jobs, said Tom Snyder, executive director of NC RIoT.

Tom Snyder, Rachael Meleney and John Anderson. (WRAL)

“That’s our goal and mission,” he said. “[After tonight], I hope people will understand how emerging technology is affecting industries that people might not have even realized were industries.”

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Gunshot detection for the masses

By Safe Zone News

Startup Safe Zone showcases affordable gunshot detection tech at ISC West 2019

As the massacres in Orlando, Las Vegas, Parkland and elsewhere have demonstrated, mass shootings can happen anywhere and anytime. And while the debate rages on in Washington and state legislatures across the country as to what steps need to be taken to help curb gun violence, one thing that nearly everyone agrees on is there needs to be greater investments made by schools and businesses in technology that can help prevent or mitigate casualties in active shooter scenarios.

As reported by Securityinfowatch.com, aside from video surveillance and access control, there has been a noticeable uptick in both interest and adoption of gunshot detection solutions by end-users recently, which has resulted in a number of companies entering the market with their own unique offerings. Despite the promise held by the technology and its ability to quickly provide accurate information about when and where a gunshot is fired within a facility, these solutions remain too costly for many end-users to implement, especially public schools which are working with already limited budgets.

Mike Anderson, president of gunshot detection startup Safe Zone, which is making its debut appearance at ISC West this year, says that lowering the costs and barriers to adopt this technology was one of things that motivated him to enter the market having spent the bulk of his career designing various consumer and home automation products.

“We have a definite cost difference between what we offer and what else is available on the market,” Anderson says. “Our devices are $149 and so we have a significant advantage in cost. Installation of our system is also a little more cost effective; it doesn’t require hardened boxes or anything like that. It’s a surface mount, very easy to get wire to and, in fact, the primary device is the Wi-Fi device so the installation is very easy.”

In the process of creating a new automation and control system for energy management at a former company, Anderson says they developed an occupancy sensor that they felt like could serve more than a single purpose. One of the first things they thought about adding was glass break detection but they soon realized that most glass break sensors were not very intelligent.

“They can’t tell the difference between the glass on a sliding glass door breaking or a single pane in a window breaking. It seems like most people would want to know what is getting broken, so we developed an intelligent glass break sensor technology that could do that and so we added that to the occupancy sensor,” Anderson says.

Heading down this path eventually led Anderson and his team to think about expanding applications for these sensors, which resulted in the development of the Safe Zone detector.

“The glass break detector is an acoustic sensor, the occupancy sensor is an infrared sensor and so we started thinking about other applications for that and it occurred to us that gunfire might be something that it could do. We refined it a little bit, discovered there was a big market for a gunfire detector that is cost-effective and so we spent some more time developing that and we got it to where it could discriminate between different types of firearms and ammunition by using a combination of infrared muzzle flash analysis and the analysis of the acoustic signature,” Anderson adds. “Now, we’re focused on that market alone.”

According to Anderson, Safe Zone has decided […] that rather than use detectors as individual, standalone solutions; they actually pull together data from multiple detectors and analyze disturbances as a single event.  “If you fire a gun, the detector in that room is going to pick it up but also the detectors in the adjacent rooms and in the hallway are going to pick it up, so we analyze data from all of those detectors together which gives us much higher accuracy and more reliable prediction of what type of weapon it is,” he explains.

Anderson believes one of the current shortfalls of gunshot detection is that end-users are hesitant to deploy the number of sensors necessary to achieve the level of accuracy needed for most installations.

“The thing about gunfire detection is you want to get it accurate and really provide the data that law enforcement needs to respond,” he adds. “It takes more detectors than most people are putting in with the other systems simply because of the costs involved.”

Anderson says that one of the biggest market challenges is simply creating awareness about the technology itself and that it can be affordable to boot. “People need to understand that these systems are available and that they will save lives,” he says.

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Safe Zone is “Must-See Booth” at ISC West 2019

By Safe Zone News

As reported by SDM Magazine, ISC West will feature more than 1,000 exhibitors, including 200 first-time exhibitors. One to keep an eye on is Safe Zone.

Safe Zone (booth 4117) will exhibit and showcase its Safe Zone Gunfire Detector, which has been hailed as one of the most important new technologies debuted at CES 2019 by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News. 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 ten 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.

 

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NC startups show how deeply Internet of Things is penetrating our economy

By Safe Zone News

RALEIGH (WRAL) – The current wave of the tech economy, the Internet of Things, is showing strong presence in our region’s entrepreneurship ecosystem. At RIoT, we have the great fortune of supporting emerging and established companies as they dive into new applications of our connected economy.

Editor’s note: Rachael Meleney is Program Director for RIoT, the regional Internet of Things users group based in Raleigh.

Through the RIoT Accelerator Program (RAP), we mentor groups of entrepreneurs at once. In aggregate, this provides a view into the health and evolution of IoT entrepreneurship in the region– and also exemplifies the strength of the region, as RAP is attracting applications from startups across to U.S. In our ecosystem today, we are seeing the maturation of IoT applications to real world problems as IoT data becomes more sophisticated.

The internet connectivity of physical things first advanced capabilities in monitoring, which led to an ability to control and then the ability to optimize– meaning IoT can drive peak performance of a technological capability, with little ongoing direction or manual intervention from users.

Take utilities metering for example– first we were able to monitor electricity consumption, then with greater sophistication could compare consumption across households, time of day, and season. With that data, utilities providers could move towards optimization of electricity consumption and cost by employing dynamic pricing, or even control the flow of energy in some commercial cases.

Now technology is advancing further to predictive intelligence that allows IoT devices, networks, and systems, to be autonomous. You can think of the Nest thermostat, which optimizes your energy consumption and temperature comfort in your home by learning your habits and automatically adjusting the temperature based on your preferences and your comings and goings.

IOT STARTUPS AND PUBLIC SAFETY

In public safety, IoT is enhancing visibility and quick action in emergency situations. Green Stream Technologies provides municipalities with real-time flood monitoring, empowering them to take swift action for the safety of their citizens, a need the Southeast knows all too well.

Safe Zone, a gunshot detection device by Florida-based AVidea Group, enables private commercial spaces to establish a system that will alert administrators and first responders immediately in active shooter situations—cutting down response times and therefore saving lives. Both solutions show cases were IoT systems more quickly and accurately capture emergencies and prompt necessary human response before consequences become more disastrous.

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Retired Teacher Urges Businesses to Buy Gunfire Detectors

By Safe Zone News

While teaching in the classroom for 24 years in Cleburne, Texas, Jackie Beatty said parents never had to worry about sending their children to school. As reported by Government Technology Magazine, that is not the case nowadays.

(TNS) — Columbine High School, Sandy Hook Elementary School, Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs.

These are just a small fraction of the number of mass shooting events seen at schools, churches and businesses that have made headlines over the past couple of years.

One local retired teacher wants to try to put a stop to these events.

While teaching in the classroom for 24 years at Cleburne ISD, Jackie Beatty said parents never had to worry about sending their children to school. That is not the case nowadays, she said.

She is encouraging local school districts, churches, law enforcement agencies and businesses to purchase the Safe Zone Gunfire Protection technology, which uses cloud-based machine learning to detect gunfire in a building.

The detector was created by AVidea Group Inc., a Florida company created in 2016 to develop technologies for improving lifestyles through better energy management.

Wes Stevens, an authorized dealer for Safe Zone, said the detector is a little bit smaller than your palm, has a microphone, an infrared camera and a light that blinks red when there’s active gunfire.

Gunfire emits a certain acoustic signal that the detector will pick up, giving emergency personnel the location of the shooter, the type and caliber of weapon and the number of shots, Stevens said.

One of the biggest problems that comes up during active shooter situations, Beatty said, is the response time by emergency personnel. Law enforcement must locate the shooter and neutralize the situation before possible victims can be treated, she said.

“This device will tell them exactly where the shooter is and their movements as they move out of the rooms,” she said.

The detector can be mounted on the wall of a room or hallway, Stevens said, and it connects wirelessly to the local Wi-Fi network and Bluetooth is used from the user’s phone to initially set up the system.

When an alert occurs, three things happen in less than 10 seconds:

  • Alerts are pushed to the Public Safety Access Points in the appropriate dispatch centers within seconds of the trigger pull. That means the local 911 dispatcher receives the alert, with all the critical information on the dispatch system computer screen immediately.
  • An alert tone is played and the alert is displayed on all phones that have the app loaded and are connected to the system.
  • Texts and emails are sent to the contact list set up for the system by the system administrator.

The system also includes hundreds of non-firearm signatures that are often mistaken by human ears as gunshots — firecrackers, car backfiring, doors slamming, balloons popping and more.

The system has multiple solutions for interfacing with third-party systems such as alarm panels, door lock systems, mass notification systems or video surveillance systems, according to its website.

This detector could be beneficial for school districts, Beatty said, and could be purchased by them using school safety funds allocated by the Texas Legislature. Parent Teacher Associations at the campuses could also raise any money that would be needed, she said.

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Retired Cleburne ISD teacher encourages businesses to purchase gunfire detectors

By Safe Zone News

Columbine High School, Sandy Hook Elementary School, Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs.

These are just a small fraction of the number of mass shooting events seen at schools, churches and businesses that have made headlines over the past couple of years.

As reported in the Cleburne Times-Review, one local retired teacher wants to try to put a stop to these events.

While teaching in the classroom for 24 years at Cleburne ISD, Jackie Beatty said parents never had to worry about sending their children to school. That is not the case nowadays, she said.

She is encouraging local school districts, churches, law enforcement agencies and businesses to purchase the Safe Zone Gunfire Protection technology, which uses cloud-based machine learning to detect gunfire in a building.

The detector was created by AVidea Group Inc., a Florida company created in 2016 to develop technologies for improving lifestyles through better energy management.

Wes Stevens, an authorized dealer for Safe Zone, said the detector is a little bit smaller than your palm, has a microphone, an infrared camera and a light that blinks red when there’s active gunfire.

Gunfire emits a certain acoustic signal that the detector will pick up giving emergency personnel the location of the shooter, the type and caliber of weapon and the number of shots, Stevens said.

One of the biggest problems that comes up during active shooter situations, Beatty said, is the response time by emergency personnel. Law enforcement must locate the shooter and neutralize the situation before possible victims can be treated, she said.

“This device will tell them exactly where the shooter is and their movements as they moves out of the rooms,” she said.

The detector can be mounted on the wall of a room or hallway, Stevens said, and it connects wirelessly to the local Wi-Fi network and bluetooth is used from the user’s phone to initially set up the system.

When an alert occurs, three things happen in less than 10 seconds:

• Alerts are pushed to the Public Safety Access Points in the appropriate dispatch centers within seconds of the trigger pull. That means the local 911 dispatcher receives the alert, with all the critical information on the dispatch system computer screen immediately.

• An alert tone is played and the alert is displayed on all phones that have the app loaded and are connected to the system.

• Texts and emails are sent to the contact list set up for the system by the system administrator.

The system also includes hundreds of non-firearm signatures that are often mistaken by human ears as gunshots — firecrackers, car backfiring, doors slamming, balloons popping and more.

The system has multiple solutions for interfacing with third-party systems such as alarm panels, door lock systems, mass notification systems or video surveillance systems, according to its website.

This detector could be beneficial for school districts, Beatty said, and could be purchased by them using school safety funds allocated by the Texas Legislature. Parent Teacher Associations at the campuses could also raise any money that would be needed, she said.

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CE Pro Mark of Excellence Awards Spotlight: Disruptor Award

By Safe Zone News

CE Pro’s “Mark of Excellence Awards” highlighted 168 projects and products in the March 2019 issue. Safe Zone’s Gunfire Detector was spotlighted for the magazine’s Disruptor Award.

This active shooter security system can be easily installed in virtually any type of public environment. The system responds within 10 seconds to an active shooter situation, analyzing the on-the-ground situation and automatically communicating with all key personnel, saving time and ultimately, saving lives.

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NBC Tech Trends: Sophisticated New Security

By Safe Zone News

Safe Zone’s groundbreaking gunfire detection technology has been profiled by NBC Chicago.

As discussed on NBC’s “Tech Trends” segment, Safe Zone sensors detect gunfire and alert the authorities within 10 seconds. Any users that are signed up for Safe Zone alerts will get an active push notification on their smartphone, which includes a map of the building showing where shots have been fire, the type of firearm the shooter may be using and how many shots were fired.
For more information on Safe Zone’s gunfire detection system, visit www.safezonetech.com
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US startup launches affordable gunfire detection system for terminals

By Safe Zone News

Florida-based startup Safe Zone has launched the Safe Zone Gunfire Detector, an affordable gunfire detection system that has the ability to respond to an active shooter situation within 10 seconds, as reported in Passenger Terminal Today.

According to Safe Zone, it takes an average of five minutes for police to be notified of an active shooter situation by someone on scene. The Safe Zone Gunfire Detector is a small (3 x 3in) triangular unit that can be mounted throughout the terminal and provides gunfire detection for an area measuring 9,000ft³ (255m³).

Safe Zone utilizes the latest wi-fi communication and cloud-based machine learning technologies to instantly send and analyze data that returns usable information to local law enforcement and on-site administrators in seconds.

The system can determine the location of shots fired, the number of shots, and the type and caliber of gun being used. Within seconds of the trigger pull, an alert is sent to local law enforcement.

Each 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 10dB 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 datapoints in each record. False alarms like car backfires, firecrackers or balloons popping are filtered out through their distinct acoustic signatures.

Safe Zone president Mike Anderson said, “We are living in a time where active shooters are a real concern for everyday citizens conducting normal business. 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.”
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Sense of Security: Protection professionals and companies provide insight on the latest casino surveillance and security products and practices

By Safe Zone News

NEW PRODUCT: Casino Journal reports on fast, inexpensive gunfire detection system now available for casinos

Underscoring the growing market need for an affordably priced gunfire detector and reporting system that can be easily installed in literally every type of public environment, Safe Zone, a Melbourne, Fla.- based technology start-up, has introduced its Safe Zone Gunfire Detector (GFD).

“The Safe Zone Gunfire Detection System is the active shooter security breakthrough a very troubled world has been waiting for,” said Mike Anderson, president of Safe Zone. “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. and inexpensively priced, the Safe Zone Gunfire Detector combines the latest infrared and sound detection technologies with immediate cloud-based data analysis. Safe Zone’s advanced machine-learning algorithms analyze more than 3,000 data points of each loud noise that exceeds ambient levels by a certain threshold.

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,” said John Anderson, chief technology officer for Safe Zone. “By knowing the location of a shooter and their capabilities, first responders can be properly prepared, and bystanders can get to a safe zone.”

The Safe Zone Gunfire Detector is a small, 3-inch by 3-inch triangular unit that mounts in a ceiling corner and provides gunfire detection for an area of up to 9,000 cubic feet. Safe Zone utilizes the latest WiFi communication and cloud-based machine learning technologies to send and analyze data that returns usable information to local law enforcement and on-site administrators in less than 10 seconds. Unlike many other gunfire detection solutions, Safe Zone can be connected to a third-party alarm, surveillance, door lock and mass notification systems.

Each 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 3000 data points in each record. False alarms like car backfires, firecrackers or balloons popping are filtered out through their distinct acoustic signatures.

“We are living in a time where active shooters are a real concern for everyday citizens conducting normal business,” Anderson said. “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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