The Center for Homeland Defense and Security reports more than 1,300 school shootings have occurred since Columbine in 1999 – leaving 220,000 students who were exposed to gun violence at school in the United States. It’s vital to be proactive in the face of these threats to keep kids safe in schools, which demonstrates an incredibly compelling use case for innovative solutions.
Six former Navy SEALs came together with elite technologists to form ZeroEyes, a company that is using artificial intelligence to monitor active shooter situations. ZeroEyes worked with Arrow to create video surveillance software that can detect weapons, specifically designed for schools. Arrow’s components group built out the appliance, and Arrow’s enterprise computing solutions business was able to utilize IBM intelligent video analytics software to turn the footage into valuable information.
“I put off my retirement for this solution and put my focus behind it because it saves lives.”
-Billy Hunter, ZeroEyes chief business owner
“It is good to know that our forward-thinking partners leverage the breath of the Arrow portfolio to create life saving solutions.”
-Dan Shea, IBM group vice president and general manager
How It Works
Anywhere from 20 to 30 surveillance cameras are installed in a school to monitor when a student approaches. The system is programmed to detect weapons all the way from the parking lot – up to 65 feet away. Once ZeroEyes identifies the gun in the security camera, the alert system is activated. Faculty, security officers and local authorities receive a notification containing a picture of the threat, showing how many shooters there are, what type of gun and the exact location of the threat within three seconds – significantly decreasing response time, which is one of ZeroEyes’ top priorities. According to the National Sheriffs’ Association, school shootings last 12.5 minutes on average, and the average response time for authorities is 18 minutes.
With this information, faculty and security officers are able to quickly issue a lock-down and keep the gunman from entering the building, if possible. If the shooter is already inside, notifications continue each time a camera detects their location so schools and authorities can track movement throughout the building. This gives first responders critical information to enable them with the most effective plan of action as they arrive on the scene.
“As we have learned with the high volume of shootings, seconds matter,” said Woody Woods, an Arrow business development representative who has been closely involved in the process with ZeroEyes.
Proof of Concept
Rancocas Valley High School in New Jersey was the first school in the nation to adopt the new technology. According to Hunter, this helped police get behind the solution after it “passed the test.” The system successfully sent alerts and detected weapons in every position during drills without ZeroEyes monitoring. The district pays roughly $15,000 per year for the solution that helps protect their students, but ZeroEyes wants to be as cost-effective as possible and will work with schools to create payment plans.
In addition to schools, this solution can also be deployed at shopping malls, stadiums, commercial travel, hospitals, amusement parks and more. With the fast pace of business growth, ZeroEyes has turned to Arrow for leads and customer relationships, hardware, financing, how to scale and more. “Leveraging Arrow has made it easier to navigate through a start-up,” Hunter said. “What other company could source this much?”
At Arrow Technology Summit, Hunter joined leaders from Arrow services, engineering and financing to participate in a “Solutions That Save Lives: Show and Tell” session to explain more about ZeroEyes and the potential of this solution, with an in-depth look at how Arrow can help develop solutions like these.
Last modified: August 26, 2019