Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal
The Albuquerque company has developed a state-of-the-art security system that can stop mass shootings before such an attack begins.
When used, EAGL Technology Inc. The new gunshot detection and lock-on system instantly – with absolute accuracy – detects a shot the moment it occurs. It then locks down buildings at once in seconds, notifies police directly who have GPS coordinates of the shooting, and notifies everyone in the area via public address, text message, email, and what’s happening and what needs to be done.
System sensors are deployed not only in the buildings, but also in the surrounding areas, so that if a gunshot occurs anywhere in the protected area, the entire complex is immediately locked, preventing the shooter from entering the building. In fact, artificial intelligence allows the system’s smart security cameras to detect even someone carrying a gun, including one strapped to his hip. And if the person moves the device in any direction, it activates the alarm-response program.
Artesia Public Schools installed the system on all 10 campuses in 2018, becoming the first school district to adopt it. And since then, he has been involved with the University of New Mexico’s Valencia branch campus and the Kenosha School District in Wisconsin.
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Police departments in Mason City, Iowa and Spokane, Washington are planning to install the system in their downtown zones.
Artesia’s director of facilities and maintenance, Scott Simer, said EAGL’s technology system provides an unprecedented level of security for area schools.
“Once we see it in action — what it does and how quickly it works — we immediately integrate it into our security system,” Simer told the Journal. “It immediately and immediately locks the doors and sends out alerts that notify administrative staff, police dispatch and all school personnel without us doing anything.”
Sherman McCorkle, chairman and CEO of Sandia Science and Technology Park, said the system could have played a role in the May massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
“If this system had been installed in Uvalde, it would have locked the school before the shooter entered, because he would have fired the first shot outside,” McCorkle told the Journal. “In 75 percent of mass shootings, the first shot is fired outside the building.”
McCorkle is an investor in EAGL Technology and has so far raised about $4 million in private equity to develop and commercialize the system. But as the former head of Technology Ventures Corp. — a now-defunct nonprofit that helps startups bring new technology to market — McCorkle said EAGL’s system represents a breakthrough in security.
“Over the past 35 years, I’ve looked at more than 2,000 technology-based startup opportunities,” McCorkle said. “EAGL is one of the first three. It is a highly sophisticated system with smart sensors and sophisticated software to help solve the problem of detection and locking.
The system was developed by Boaz Raz, an Israeli who immigrated to New Mexico in 1989 and earned an engineering degree at the University of New Mexico. He worked at Intel Corporation until 2006, when he founded his own company, Security USA, which sells residential systems that integrate things like access control, fire alarms and security cameras into one platform.
In the year When the housing market crashed in 2008, the company shifted its focus from residential to commercial markets, particularly schools. Then, in The 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, where 26 people were killed, prompted Raz to step up his efforts.
“I said, ‘I can do something about these schools,’ and I started developing EAGL’s security system,” Raz told the Journal. “I wanted to create a software and hardware system that would automate everything, not just for alerts, but to take direct action in an active shooter situation.”
The system includes patented technology licensed from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, which works on sensor technology. The lab developed an advanced algorithm that allows EAGL’s proprietary sensors to detect gunshots based on large bursts of energy rather than sound, allowing the system to distinguish gunshots from other sounds.
It can even determine what caliber gun was used in the shooting.
“It relies on an energy detector that activates when an energy wave exceeds a predetermined threat threshold,” Raz said. “Music or general background noise will not activate the sensor.”
That detection ability allows for 96% accuracy in determining when something is real, leaving only a 4% chance of false alarms.
The system was tested at the Albuquerque International Airport in July 2020, where a SWAT team fired live ammunition near the sensors, including sounds that simulated gunfire and the sudden slapping of wood that could occur during construction.
“The SWAT team fired 160 rounds at five different locations, and the system got everything right,” Raz said.
In addition, Raz and his engineering teams built a comprehensive software system that manages automated countermeasures after the shot is detected, allowing the company to tailor each system based on individual requirements for buildings and outdoor areas.
This includes pre-planned door and building lockdown instructions, multi-channel mass notification to everyone in the area, the ability to make real-time updates on disaster areas and danger zones in the event of an emergency, and panic stations for busy people to alert authorities. Accept their status and instructions.
Emergency messages are sent directly to police operators.
“There’s no point in keeping it,” Raz said. “The message goes to 911 determined by zip code for that area or building where the shooting occurred. It appears on the 911 operator’s screen within seconds.”
Once a shot is detected, the system’s security cameras provide a GPS-enabled snapshot of incidents, showing exact locations. The system also asks for all International Mobile Subscriber ID, or IMSI, numbers for cell phones in the area during an emergency, which cell towers continuously record and police can use to identify shooters.
The entire system is wireless, with instant connections to the cloud or to the client’s internal server. And the entire system is powered by long-lasting batteries and solar chargers for external sensors, significantly reducing costs.
Perhaps most importantly, all automated operations are performed within seconds of receiving a gunshot.
The power burst algorithm determines within three seconds if the burst was fired correctly. And in a maximum of seven seconds, every pre-programmed alarm, alarm and lockout process is activated.
Before the outbreak, the company began actively selling the system in the US and other countries. It is now installed in more than three dozen schools.
“We have about 4,000 sensors set up in two hundred locations,” Raz said. We have shipped systems to South Africa, Nigeria and Nairobi.
The company markets through trained, certified dealers at EAGL’s 15,000-square-foot headquarters in the North Interstate 25 industrial corridor. Subcontractors manufacture the components, and EAGL’s Albuquerque employees assemble and program the systems to be shipped to customer sites, where certified dealers install them.
EAGL’s clients include some of the largest corporations, such as Honeywell, Siemens, Johnson Controls and Schneider Electric, as well as dozens of smaller companies.
“We have more than 100 dealers in the U.S. and overseas,” Raz said. “This makes our company scalable. Otherwise, we would have to open operations in every state and in other countries.”
UNM’s Valencia campus installed the system three years ago at a cost of $180,000, said Branch Dean Richard Goshore.
“It’s peace of mind for our faculty and students on campus,” Goshorn told the Journal. “If there is a problem, the police will be alerted immediately and a text message will be sent to everyone.”
Artesia Public Schools paid about $1 million to install it around the district.
“I hope it’s just a waste of money — we never have to use it,” said Simer, director of facilities and maintenance. “It’s sad that we have to do this, but a child’s life is worth more than what we paid for it.”