NEW YORK, Dec. 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — This year has been one marked by life-changing moments and experiences. From a global pandemic to nationwide public unrest, the world is witnessing history being made. Some of that history is connected to or has resulted in technological advances, much of which is designed to make the world a better and safer place. For example, Silicon Valley’s Knightscope Inc. (Profile) has designed and offers a full lineup of autonomous security robots that provide 24/7/365 security wherever the robots are operating. Other companies that have seen advancements in security technology include Motorola Solutions Inc. (NYSE: MSI), which has created the first and only mission-critical ecosystem built for public safety, and Everbridge Inc. (NASDAQ: EVBG), which offers one of the most trusted public warning platforms. Safety and security are high priorities for other major players that serve the public. Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT) recently made a strategic investment in Hidden Level, an expert in sensor design and development for low altitude airspace monitoring. And Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) is focused on developing and using technology that can improve safety in its cars as well as in its workplace.
- Over the past two decades, there has been a decline in reported property and violent crimes.
- Robots that serve as mobile cameras are becoming invaluable piece of fight against crime.
- Knightscope offers three different machine options as well as proprietary state-of-the-art Security Operations Center user interface.
- Company management has raised more than $70 million; four major corporations and more than 16,000 people have invested in Knightscope.
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A Problem of Numbers
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) have reported a decline in property and violent crimes over the past two decades — a positive sign. However, those decreasing numbers don’t necessarily tell the whole story. Last year the FBI reported more than 2,100 property crimes and almost 380 violent crimes per 100,000 Americans, according to Pew Research. Top on the list of crimes were larceny/theft in the property crime category and aggravated assault in the violent crime category.
Determining the actual numbers of crime has always been difficult; most experts agree that a significant number of crimes likely go unreported every year. One of the main reasons victims give for failing to report a crime is the perception that police are unable to help because they are understaffed.
In a recent LD Micro interview, Knightscope Inc. CEO William Santana Li explained that it’s a problem of numbers. Li noted that there are one million law enforcement professionals and one million security personnel in the United States. Accounting for the number of hours these individuals can work on a daily and weekly basis, that equates to about 500,000 people trying to protect 328 million Americans across the entire country at any given moment.
“That’s why you have a trillion-dollar negative economic impact of crime on the U.S. every, single year,” expounded Li in a recent interview. He sees the defense budget structure contributing to the problem insomuch that, unlike the military, it doesn’t provide police and security the innovation and tools they need to do their job effectively. Addressing this unattended need has been a driving force in the development of Knightscope and its portfolio of robots and operations center software.
Invaluable Piece of Fight Against Crime
Knightscope is leading the way to a solution. Robots that serve as mobile cameras are becoming an invaluable piece of the fight against crime, and Knightscope is taking that technology to the next level. The company has designed and manufactured robots with fully autonomous 360-degree HD streaming video, facial recognition, license plate recognition, thermal anomaly detection, audio broadcasts and much more.
Knightscope offers three different machine options for both indoor and outdoor use, as well as a state-of-the-art Knightscope Security Operations Center (KSOC) user interface. Knightscope has more than one million hours of service already logged with paying clients and has earned the distinction of being the only company in the world operating fully autonomously without human intervention 24/7/365 across an entire country.
Over and over again, Knightscope robots have proven their ability to deter crime. A single case study from use of a Knightscope K5 robot during a six-month period by the Huntington Park Police Department in Salt Lake Park, California, is a perfect example. In the last year, the Salt Lake Park area reported a 10% reduction in calls for service, a 46% reduction in crime reports, a 27% increase in arrests and a 68% reduction in citations during the time the K5 unit was present.
Making a Difference in the Community
Salt Lake Park is only one example of Knightscope robots making a difference in the communities in which they are operating. Knightscope robots are used around the country in a variety of different situations and locations, including parking lots/structures, shopping malls, hospitals, casinos, corporate campuses and federal buildings.
Knightscope robots have proved pivotal in a number of different situations. The robots have been instrumental in issuing warrants for sexual predators, proving a slip-and-fall lawsuit was a sham, solving a hit-and-run crime, preventing a fraudulent insurance claim, thwarting a fire, catching a thief and deterring trespassing, among other things.
Another key thing to note is that Knightscope robots are American made from R&D to manufacturing. This becomes particularly important when viewing the litany of applications where protection from potential interference (read as “spying”) from other countries is paramount.
Knightscope robots are available through a Machine-as-a-Service (MaaS) subscription business model. The subscription covers everything from freight, machinery and setup to maintenance and support. Subscriptions prices vary, ranging from $4 to $11 per hour and are based on the robots operating around the clock, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
The company generally sees a return on its investment within the first year of a subscription. In fact, said Lie, after subtracting operating and other expenses, each machine should generate about $250,000 in profit over a five-year period.
Garnering Media, Investment Attention
During his interview, Li outlined problems with the current U.S. defense system. The Department of Defense oversees a $700-plus billion annual budget, he noted; those monies are earmarked to provide the military what is needed to keep the country safe. While this budget supports a long list of contractors that supply the military with everything from goggles to stealth bombers, no federal funds are available for the country’s 19,000 law enforcement agencies and 8,000 private security firms.
The Knightscope team is committed to provide solutions to these security problems. The company has worked tirelessly to develop robotics that make the world safer. In 2013, that commitment and hard work was recognized when Knightscope won Demo Day at the Plug and Play Tech Center. Consequently, the company developed its exclusive autonomous sentry technology and was the first to bring a next-gen tech to market.
These accomplishments, among others, have attracted media and investor attention. To date, Knightscope management has raised more than $70 million with four major corporations and more than 16,000 people investing in Knightscope and its robots. The company is currently raising additional capital through a Reg A+ offering in preparation for plans to become a public entity.
Making the World a Safer Place
Motorola Solutions Inc. (NYSE: MSI) has created Command Central, the first mission-critical ecosystem built for public safety. The system is designed to create safer communities by modernizing the software public safety uses to run its mission-critical operations. The company reports that “currently, more than 3,500 customers rely on some component of Motorola Solutions’ command center software suite, supporting communities across the U.S. Of those 3,500+ customers, hundreds have already adopted two or more of the core software suite components to run their operations, demonstrating the criticality of technology to help public safety agencies keep their communities safe.”
Through its Everbridge Public Warning platform, Everbridge Inc. (NASDAQ: EVBG) delivers best-of-breed capabilities to help governments and public authorities keep people safe before, during and after critical events. The platform delivers the most comprehensive, flexible and modular solutions for population alerting to suit the needs of each city, state or country. The Everbridge front-end alerting gateway can be deployed as a standalone solution through to more sophisticated hybrid or multi-channel systems, which combine the company’s own cell-broadcast or location-based SMS technology.
Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT), through its venture capital arm, Lockheed Martin Ventures, made a strategic investment in Hidden Level, an expert in sensor design and development for low altitude airspace monitoring. The investment will support both companies as they work to solve challenges in air surveillance and security through advanced distributed sensor networks. Hidden Level’s Airspace Monitoring Service provides a network of custom-built sensors capable of monitoring for low-altitude air traffic, such as drones, over large geographic areas, including over traditionally challenging environments like densely populated metropolitan areas.
Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) has a stated goal to “become the world’s safest company by continuously integrating safety into the way we work and the products we build.” With that in mind, the company has hosted the Transplant Automotive Safety Forum (TASF) with more 100 safety professionals from Subaru, DTNA, Nissan, Volkswagen, KIA Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Toyota and BMW. During the forum, Tesla shared best practices and collaborated on topics that regularly impact all automotive companies. The company believes that technology can help improve safety in its cars as well as in its workplace.
Looking forward, technology certainly is at the heart of most major breakthroughs designed to make the world a safer place. Those breakthroughs will certainly be broad and varied, but advances such as Knightscope robots, which make a difference “on the ground,” so to speak, in neighborhoods and parking lots and malls, seem to call out for particular attention.
For more information about Knightscope, please visit Knightscope Inc.
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