Magazine article National Defense

Companies Introduce New Software to Defeat Suicide Bombers

Magazine article National Defense

Companies Introduce New Software to Defeat Suicide Bombers

Article excerpt

The military continues to invest in behavior prediction software that can alert defense and law enforcement agencies to a terrorist threat in real time.

The Army in December awarded Modus Operandi, a Melbourne, Fla.-based software company, a $1 million contract to develop a system that can detect gestures that indicate criminal intent or activity.

The system, Clear Heart, will use sensors to identify body movements, such as a person pointing a gun or planting an improvised explosive device. Then, software will analyze the likelihood of the threat and present data to intelligence analysts.

In an earlier stage of the project, Modus Operandi used a Microsoft Kinect--a commercial off-the-shelf sensor that is used to play video games--to build Libraries of gestures. The Kinect could recognize those gestures, and the system was able to notify analysts of a threat, said Rick McNeight, the company's president.

"We were pretty successful in phase one of being able to feel for several different gestures such as pointing a gun, stick your hands up [and] fists raised," he said.

The second stage will broaden the gesture library to include data from a local police department, McNeight said.

The company will also try to solve one of the system's biggest problems: being able to pick out a threatening individual in a crowd.

If the system had been deployed at Sandy Hook Elementary School "it could recognize a single individual carrying a gun through that hall," McNeight said. …

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