Local Companies Display Latest Security Tech at ASIS Expo

From autonomous robots to a crime-fighting app, companies with local ties featured their latest security inventions this week.

security

From fully autonomous robots to a crime-fighting app, companies with local ties had a strong presence at the ASIS 2017 conference in downtown Dallas this week.

The multi-day conference hosted by the organization for professional security professionals at Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center included keynotes by former President George W. Bush and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

Thousand of exhibitors showed up from around the country and Canada to show off the latest security-related technology. There were drones, video cameras, iris scanners, bomb sniffing dogs, and other tools for fighting or deterring crime and terrorism.

Here’s a look at what some local companies had at the ASIS conference:

KNIGHTSCOPE DEBUTS BIGGEST ROBOT YET

Knightscope’s new K7 is an intimidating presence with its all-terrain wheels, 360 degree cameras, thermal cameras, mobile device detector, and license-plate reader.

The 700-pound, fully autonomous robot is being tested at a corporate campus in Richardson and will soon be patrolling a campus in Irving, said Stacy Stephens, co-founder and vice president of marketing and sales for Knightscope.

The robot will be available for wider release next year. It’s got eight motors that turn the wheels independently, allowing the vehicle to turn around in confined spaces.

“This is going to be able to go off-road,” Stephens said. “It will climb a wall if we want it to.”

“This is going to be able to go off-road. It will climb a wall if we want it to.” 

Stacy Stephens

He envisions the K7 patrolling nuclear power plants, solar farms, airports, and other large installations that need to be secured. Fully autonomous vehicles are not allowed to drive on public roads — yet.

“It has to stay within a private area right now,” Stephens said.

Knightscope is based in Mountain View, California, but Stephens is a North Texas native who served as a Coppell police officer before founding the company.

The company has a whole lineup of robots. It started with the K5, an outdoor robot that can go anywhere and is Americans with Disabilities Act compliant.

“It is a fully autonomous robot, meaning nobody’s remote controlling it. It roams around within a geofenced area,” Stephens said. “It looks for anomalies that it can report back to the security operations center.”

The K3 is a smaller indoor version that can patrol buildings such as data centers. The K1 will be released in February. It’s a stationary model.

“What we give up in mobility, because it doesn’t have wheels, we add in gun detection and radiation detection,” Stephens said.

The K7 is the biggest robot the company has designed. None of Knightscope’s robots are armed.

GUARDIAN ZONE APP MAKES IT EASIER TO REPORT CRIMES IN LARGE VENUES

If you see a crime happening inside a giant sports arena or other big facility, calling 9-1-1 may not be the most efficient response.

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Guardian Zone Founder Sheryl Maas [Photo: Nicholas Sakelaris]

Finding the exact spot where the crime is occurring could be difficult, not to mention response times.

That’s why Sheryl Maas founded Guardian Zone, a crime-reporting app that creates a geofence and encourages everyone who enters it to download it. The Colleyville-based business has a handful of full-time team members and some part-timers.

It’s targeting sports stadiums, public schools, universities, and other large venues. It’s had interest from high-rise buildings and hospitals, too. 

The goal is to build trust between her clients and the people who frequent those places.

“I know that if something happens, I feel safe,” she said. “Our goal is not to go to 9-1-1. We thought there was a gap between security and 9-1-1. We help the app user [and] we help the building security who end up helping the law enforcement and first responders.”

“We thought there was a gap between security and 9-1-1.” 

Sheryl Maas

People can report medical emergencies, criminal activity, active shooters, and suspicious people with one click of the app. The mobile device’s geolocation combined with Bluetooth beacons give on-site security personnel and first responders the exact location of the incident, Maas said.

There’s also a photo and a custom message feature allowing the person to write their own report. That could be useful if there’s a lost child or other incident that doesn’t fit the other reporting criteria.

Maas came up with the idea for Guardian Zone after spending 25 years with the U.S. Department of Commerce where she lived in several hostile countries. She applied what she learned about self protection to creating the app.

SECURITY SIGNS MADE HERE IN DALLAS

The signs and stickers that let the world know a home has a security alarm are made right here in Dallas by The DuPriest Company.

Mike Savalia is a partner at the company, previously known as HyperGraphic Impressions. The signs are part crime deterrent and part advertising for alarm companies.

“Every company that provides security, they want to be able to put the sign up in the yard and say this house is protected by so and so,” Savalia said. “The sign has to be able to last a long time.”

The company has been in Dallas for 26 years.

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