#TechTrends: ShotSpotter Tackles America’s Gun Violence

Header image source: SST

So I stumbled on this news report on CNN International. There is an elaborate startup in the US called ShotSpotter, SST. They have an amazing technology that might curb gun violence in America.

ShotSpotter’s technology actually has anonymous listeners/recording devices planted across pilot cities in America. SST picks up every sound (honking and you know), it analysed the data and picks out gunshot sounds. The system then alerts the nearest police station who can then spring into action, either to make arrests, take on an assailants or provide emergency services for the wounded. Based on CNN’s report, cities already signed on to SST, are recording huge success rate in responding to gun crimes.

SST’s Sound analytics dashboard. Source: SST

For all the hi-tech work done by the SST HQ, a centre where SST’s staff monitors cities with the sound recorders, the service cost about $100,000 annually for a mini city, perhaps say the size of Ikoyi and Victoria Island. The service seems to be very pricy but, if it will lessen America’s culture of gun violence and killings, then, it is worth the dough.

To really buttress why SST is needed, the company has the national gunfire index for free download on its website. You can download by clicking this link: 2015 NGI eBook. The business application of the technology is also enormous as government agencies, private corporations have a lot to gain from SST. Either to manage risks or secure critical infrastructure.

Ad Hoc Analysis Briefing Room. Source: SST

Leaving my tech instinct, why should America be innovating to just minimize a problem it can virtually bring to an end? On average, statistics puts gun violence deaths in America to about 30,000 yearly average. In perspective, this is more than the total number of people Boko Haram and its allied terrorists have killed from its beginning till date in Nigeria. Some parts of America, get a gunshot every 60 seconds. There are over 300 million guns in private hands in America (that is at least 1 gun for every two Americans). America keeps avoiding to fight an apparent monster, a blatant proliferation of guns.

Gunfire Incident Roadmap and Situation Detail. Source: SST

While I commend guys at SST for their ingenious technology, its analytics can be used to create predictive models to pre-empt and curb gun violence, but the technology tilts towards a reactionary advantage for law enforcement agencies.

Until any other innovation rivals SST, my thumbs up to the founders and investors.

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