Interview with Apstec Systems COO Stephen Cooper, OBE.
26 November 2019
Crowded public spaces are very attractive "soft targets" for terrorists. Difficult to protect using traditional security means without causing undue disruption and delay, they require new approaches to seamlessly screen high volumes of people..
Q1) Can you explain about your mass screening technologies and where they have been deployed?
Crowded public spaces are very attractive “soft targets” for terrorists. Difficult to protect using traditional security means without causing undue disruption and delay, they require new approaches to seamlessly screen high volumes of people.
HSR is a high throughput, free flow system that credibly protects public places from terrorist attack by simultaneously screening multiple subjects in real-time for mass casualty threats. Because it allows the free flow of very large numbers of people it improves security while at the same time improving the entire security experience.
The solution has been deployed globally in crowded places, including the landside of airport terminals, transport hubs, stadiums and exhibition centers. Recent examples include the G20 Summit in Osaka Japan, where Kansai International Airport deployed HSR to enhance security in the general landside areas and terminal entrances, Brussels South Charleroi Airport where the system was selected to enhance land side security and passenger experience as well as the Geneva International Motor Show in Switzerland where Palexpo Exhibition Center deployed HSR to enhance security while improving the visitor’s overall experience.
Q2) How does the technology work and what sorts of threats can it identify?
HSR screens multiple people at the same time, without the need to empty pockets or remove coats. HSR™ automatically detects improvised explosive devices concealed on the body or in body worn bags, and firearms wherever they are carried. The system identifies the threat, and its exact location, in real time, making it easy for security intervention. Alerts are relayed to a responder via a digital interface, such as a hand held tablet, which shows the image of the suspect along with the location of the firearm and/or explosive device.
Q3) How much is artificial intelligence a game changer in screening technologies?
Artificial intelligence is a major game changer for innovative screening technologies such as HSR. Our solution uses sophisticated algorithms combined with artificial intelligence / machine learning to analyze data from multiple sensing technologies in order to detect threats with a high degree of accuracy. The use of machine learning in particular allows the technology to continuously improve performance in a given customer’s environment.
Q4) Where are your greatest areas of growth and why do you think that is?
We are witnessing strong interest in HSR from across a wide area of end user applications. This response is clear evidence of the unique nature of the technology and the appetite to close what is a stark and vulnerable capability gap in the protection of crowded places. Whilst HSR is predominantly a high throughput technology, we are seeing increasing interest from end users who are intent on providing a high level of service to valuable customers.
Q5) What is your message to the ISE audience when you exhibit in December?
HSR’s innovative real-time mass screening technology can secure crowded places in a way that is practical and proportionate and allows people to go about their daily lives without undue disruption. No other approach to high footfall screening offers this.