Scan at the Speed of Life to Prevent Tragedy – Not Just React

How a first-of-its-kind artificial intelligence facial recognition and gun detection system could have potentially prevented the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting

By Robin Jay

Facial recognition technology

When February’s unthinkable high school shooting happened in one of the ‘safest’ rated suburbs in the United States, the residents of Parkland, Florida, and the world, watched in utter shock. How does a school in a town with a 0.6 crime rate experience one of the worst school massacres in history, by a known expelled-student threat who walked on to campus in broad daylight? How did he just slip in undetected, how did security not know their surveillance video feed had a 20-minute lag; how did an on-site armed officer not try to stop the dangerous intruder?

Security Solutions
As a grateful mother of a student who escaped safely, I set out to research security system technology. Is there a system that could have identified and flagged the intruder, detected the firearm, and immediately alerted security/law enforcement of his location to prevent access to students?

With some helpful international advice, I tracked down physicist Michael Ellenbogen, a 25-year veteran in physical security technology, CEO and co-founder of Evolv Technologies in Boston. After 9/11, Ellenbogen’s team designed technology with input from the FBI, Homeland Security and other experts that detects explosives and firearms in airport luggage and concealed on passengers. Now, his firm has developed the world’s most advanced threat detection system for a complex environment — one that’s affordable to school systems.

Physicist Michael Ellenbogen

Evolv Edge
“Our Evolv Mosaiq platform and Evolv Edge system provide a first-of-its-kind personnel screening solution that integrates biometric artificial intelligence (AI) facial recognition and human IQ, real-time video surveillance, as well as high speed, walk-through multispectral metal and explosives detection technology,” Ellenbogen said. “It can unobtrusively scan 600 people an hour and, with automated security analytics, instantly notify guards on their iPad of the intruder’s precise location, identity (if in the database of known wolves) and show the position of the concealed firearm or explosives.”

The Unprecedented Protection System:
• Monitors the perimeter
• Detects intrusions
• IDs known individuals
• Finds guns and explosives
• Minimizes inconvenience
• Addresses a changing environment
• Delivers intelligence to the front line

Firearm recognition technology

Specific Applications for Stoneman Douglas
Ellenbogen points out specific applications to the Stoneman Douglas campus would require a detailed site evaluation. However, based on the basic information I provided him, he said, “What we’re looking at is how do we combine the pieces that already exist, like CCTV cameras, and bring that information together into one centralized process and alerting system, and then add advanced deep-learning or artificial intelligence capabilities for detection at the front door, but also to look at those camera feeds [around campus] and identify somebody who might be carrying a firearm. The system could have been designed to automatically lock the door [of the Freshman 1200 building], for example. Schools don’t have the budget for lots of security guards and it’s a difficult task for humans to stay focused 10 hours a day. The security system has got to be more automated — with the crucial churning through the data being done automatically.”

The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach utilizes Evolv Edge technology to protect patrons. School administrators can contact Evolv Technologies for site evaluations:, (781) 374-8100.

For a video demonstration of Evolv Technology, go to


Scan at the Speed of Life to Prevent Tragedy – Not Just React