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Utah attorney general signs on to beta test new AI tech that detects concealed weapons

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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes has signed his office up to beta test a new tech that uses artificial intelligence to detect concealed weapons.

The technology, called HEXWAVE, can identify both metal and nonmetal concealed objects using 3D imaging and deep learning algorithms, according to a Wednesday news release from Liberty Defense — an Atlanta-based company that acquired the tech from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

If someone entered a school with a concealed gun or other weapon, HEXWAVE could potentially detect the danger, then alert school security to the threat.

We are pleased to be a part of this phase of testing this new product. Innovation in this space is essential as the type and frequency of threats also evolve. We look forward to evaluating the capabilities of the HEXWAVE product.

–Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes

The technology could be installed at the perimeter of a building to expose potential threats before they enter, or inside a building to spot danger — even amid a large crowd. The system could also be integrated to fit into walls or behind signs and screens.

HEXWAVE would be especially useful not just in schools, but sporting and concert arenas, stadiums, Olympic venues, places of worship, government offices, amusement parks and festivals, the company claims.

In a world often rocked by the tragedy of mass shootings and terrorism, Liberty Defense promises that HEXWAVE “is the future of reducing violence, loss of life and damage to property” and “can provide early warning of threats to security staff before the threat is carried out.”

HEXWAVE is also one of the few technologies of its kind that does not use facial recognition — a feature that has recently come under scrutiny for its invasion of privacy.

Hexwave Prototype; Liberty Defense Technologies

“We are excited that the attorney general of Utah recognizes the potential value of this technology and the opportunity it provides for enhanced security in the state,” Liberty Defense CEO Bill Riker said in the news release.

The partnership with Liberty Defense will require Reyes to “facilitate introductions and advise interested parties and venues on the potential for HEXWAVE technology,” the news release reads. The beta testing process will help the company ensure that the tech is where it should be before going to market.

“We are pleased to be a part of this phase of testing this new product. Innovation in this space is essential as the type and frequency of threats also evolve. We look forward to evaluating the capabilities of the HEXWAVE product,” Reyes said in the news release.

The beta testing program will begin late this year and continue into 2020.

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