Mark Towhey (@towhey) from Newstalk1010 chats to Robert Delamar, CEO of First Responder Technologies Inc.
As you will hear, Mark is intrigued as he saw the advertising from First Responder Technologies and was quizzical about how Wifi could be used to detect weapons and protect the privacy when addressing the very important topic of public safety.
Below is the transcript of the interview between Mark Towhey, host of Newstalk1010 and Robert Delamar. The interview took place at 12.45pm (PT), 9th February 2020.
[MARK TOWHEY NEWSTALK1010]
Welcome back this is Mark Towhey, you’re listening to Newstalk1010.
Normally we jump right into the weekend review but we have saved the best interview for last. If ever walked through one of those magnetic metal detectors at the airport or maybe been wanded going into a venue or sports arena or something like that. Looking for guns and trying to keep that out of the hands and what if you could do that from a distance what if you could scan an entire crowd of people walking down the street or at a festival in a public park and know that somebody out there has a gun and that they shouldn’t have maybe going into our school.
Well, my next guest is Robert Delamar he’s the CEO of First Responder Technologies Inc. and his company is developing a technology that might actually be able to do that. Robert welcome to the program.
[ROBERT DELAMAR – CEO, FIRST RESPONDER TECHNOLOGIES INC.]
Hi Mark, thanks for having me on.
So from what I have seen from your advertising, which you’ve been placing out and everybody’s newspaper but mine, I will have you know. But in any case it sounds like a need technology, like you know, how close to being true is that statement that you can scan a crowd and say this guy, that guy, this woman over here, they’ve got something bad in their pockets or in their satchels and they need to be checked out.
We are a few months away from our first working prototype and it’s about 18 months or so from there that we would have a version one of the product. And to be clear what we’re developing is essentially a virtual fence. These are fence posts that a crowd will pass through and as they pass through the virtual fence, it sends off a warning and it’s a person with arms.
The idea is that the information, the situational awareness, would get into the hands of an on-site security person or first responder so that they could then go check that person out.
So you’re not gonna be scanning a crowd of people standing in a public square but as people entered the square they might go past a fence post kind of like when you’re walking in and out of a department store, sometimes they have those little posts on either side of the doorway that beeps if you’ve got a tag in it
Precisely, that is exact the analogy.
So how does your technology know who’s got a gun compared to who’s got a stapler in their pocket?
Yes, it’s a really excellent question and this is some pretty hard science and I have to be blunt is going to take us a while to continue development to figure this out. But what we have learned from our early experimentation and it’s a pretty cool story about how the technology is developed. There’s a team of really smart PhD scientists at Rutgers University in the United States. They, through experimentation realised you could use the Wi-Fi signal, there’s a rich amount of data set in the Wi-Fi signal, to determine a person is carrying metal and under certain circumstances that you may be able to image that metal to provide you that second layer of analysis that would enable you to say, hey, it’s a gun. Same thing that those body scanners do at the airport but at a low enough resolution and an fashion which is non-invasive from a personal identifying information perspective, meaning that the person themselves aren’t being scanned, but rather the objective.
That’s the distinction. And that’s the hard problem that we’re working to solve and the goal is to get it solved out to the market. So that is that is the whole journey for the company for the next two years or so.
And so this is Wi-Fi that would come out of these fence posts or is it Wi-Fi, that’s already in the air?
No, it’s Wi-Fi in the fence post. The fence posts themselves, the virtual fence, that’s what creates the signal that the person passes through and as they pass through that gives us the information to determine whether or not somebody is armed and then of course then to provide a warming to the person in charge, to do something about it.
Awesome, the company is called First Responder Technologies; when do you think you’ll have that test so we could have you back to find out how well it worked?
Thanks. So we went public earlier this year and in our prospectus we had set out a goal for May of this year for the working prototype about the metal detection and the size and shape detection. And so that’s the goal that the company’s working towards, we’ve been working on it for a period of time prior of course, working hard on it, and many years prior to that in the lab at Rutgers. But now the real thing is to get this out into the world and in real world business case scenario.
Awesome, Robert Delamar from First Responder Technology, sorry we’re short on time but we’ll have to have you back after that test. Thanks very much.
Thank you so much Mark. Cheers.
That sounds exciting…