When Seconds Count – How One Company is Using AI to Expedite Communication of Vital Data to First Responders

When Every Second Counts

One of the hottest topics in our current political climate, internet discussions, and social dialog is the phenomenon of active shooter incidents, or “mass shootings.” Media outlets saturate their broadcast time with reports that in one way or another reference these crimes. Politicians list it as one of the top priorities of their platform while petitioning voter support. And people broadcast their opinions on the matter wherever they can. It is a well-reported, even sensationalized, subject and a real concern for many people around the world.

In the event of an active shooter, or another hostile event, community preparedness is of the utmost importance. Police, Fire, and EMS teams need as much information as they can get to respond appropriately. Fire and emergency teams typically cannot enter the crime scene until police have cleared the area of the threat.  A new solution from startup, Athena Security, can detect a hostile event and broadcast a video feed to any designated device giving first responders an unprecedented real-time account of the situation. Eyewitness accounts, as you can imagine, offer only the perspective of the caller and police teams must rely on training and protocol to systematically neutralize the area so that medical teams can reach and attend to victims. Athena’s solution to this often-slow process is to use a surveillance camera system equipped with machine learning capability to identify, highlight, and communicate the locations of victims, or even the attacker, to the first responders.

Athena offers extreme flexibility in the configuration of its application. Their solution can work with existing hardware or new equipment and can be provided to meet the customer’s needs. They can work with just a few or up to hundreds of surveillance points – each simultaneously monitoring their designated areas. Athena can be set up to report threats according to the customer’s preference, with the capability of notifying authorities by phone or sending a video feed via e911, providing a real-time assessment and record of the activity.

Recently Christopher Ciabarra, co-founder of Athena Security, talked with Brilliance Security Magazine and explained that he and co-founder, Lisa Falzone, wanted to do something new, something that “makes a difference.” In their minds, the question was raised, “why isn’t technology fixing the problem of mass shootings?” They wanted to do something in this area, believing that students shouldn’t have to worry about being attacked in a mass shooting. They saw what they call a “big problem,” and they set out to fix it.

Athena’s mission is to prevent crime through a sophisticated artificial intelligence platform. To modernize the security world by proactive threat detection in situations where seconds count and rapid identification, response, and versatile communication can make a difference. The agility of their system and its wide range of capabilities certainly conjures an array of possible applications where improvements on existing systems can help protect innocent lives, report accidents, and identify criminal activity.

How It Works

Athena was created to use existing surveillance tools paired with their intuitive AI system to identify threats rapidly. The system can quickly identify a weapon, in real time, and analyze actions to accurately identify and report a potential risk. It’s a proactive solution that is designed to be flexible enough that it not only can notify security guards but can also lock down the site and signal to the attacker that they have been identified and that authorities are on the way.

Who is Athena Security Inc.?

Athena Security Co-Founders Lisa Falzone and Christopher Ciabarra found a good deal of success with their first venture in the tech world, raising their initial startup, an iPad point of sale company, to a valuation of over $500 million before selling to private equity in 2017. It was the type of success that many entrepreneurs set out to achieve and never realize. Falzone and Ciabarra weren’t finished introducing the world to innovative life-improving technology. Their new idea, Athena Security, aims to be a game changer in addressing a problem at the forefront of society – active shooter.

In the video below, watch Lisa Falzone explain Athena Security’s mission, purpose, and technology.

Cody Bowcut is a Contributing Editor for Brilliance Security Magazine