Startup beefs up emergency response software with gunshot detection
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Startup beefs up emergency response software with gunshot detection

Gabriel is a smart system that calls first responders to an unfolding crisis; the sound of a blast can now trigger the system even before anyone hits the panic button

Shoshanna Solomon is The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

Mourners light candles on October 10, 2019, at the synagogue in Halle, eastern Germany, one day after the deadly anti-Semitic shooting. (Ronny Hartmann / AFP)
Mourners light candles on October 10, 2019, at the synagogue in Halle, eastern Germany, one day after the deadly anti-Semitic shooting. (Ronny Hartmann / AFP)

An Israeli startup that developed a smart panic button system to alert first responders about emergencies like school shootings said Wednesday it has added gunshot detection software to its product, in a bid to keep Jewish communities safe ahead of the upcoming High Holidays.

The new detection software alerts responders to gunshots or explosions even before the system’s smart panic button on the wall is pressed or the smartphone app is activated, the company said in a statement.

The software addition is part of a smart emergency solution called Gabriel, after the biblical guardian angel, developed by Blue Systems Ltd., a startup co-founded by Yoni Sherizen, a US-born former rabbi who immigrated to Israel from the UK.

Gabriel is “smart panic-button” system that comes equipped with sensors, a camera and a microphone that can be installed in public places, including schools, offices, houses of worship, restaurants, retail centers and distribution centers.

The smart-panic and gunshot detection system developed by Israeli startup Gabriel (Courtesy)

When activated, either physically or via an app installed on smartphones, the system alerts first responders to an emergency at a specific location and helps open up a communication channel with the responders and other security teams that may be at the scene, giving all parties the eyes and ears to follow unfolding events.

The smart system can be used as a standalone or with existing security systems, teams and protocols, the company said in a statement.

The latest feature senses gunshots or explosions via the sensors, microphones and cameras installed throughout the buildings. The new technology is also able to identify where in the building shots are taking place, the statement said.

The software filters out noises like doors slamming, heavy items dropping, balloons popping  and other sounds that trigger traditional gunshot detection systems, the company said.

“This is another important step towards reducing the time it takes to respond to emergency situations, alert authorities of danger, and provide vital life-saving tools to react faster and smarter,” said Sherizen, who is also the firm’s CEO, in the statement.

The next step of development will focus on sensing key sounds that signify danger, he said. Once an incident has started, the sensors will be able to identify where in the building it is calm, where the situation is active, where help is needed, what needs to be closed down immediately and what can be used as an escape route.

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