Toronto-based Patriot One Technologies (TSXV:PAT) is probably one of the most unique companies listed in Canada. It’s a startup venture that’s trying to deploy radar systems that can detect concealed weapons in crowds.
There’s a wave of gun crime spreading across much of the world, and the effects are particularly acute in North and South America. According to a report published in JAMA, half of all the annual gun deaths (roughly 125,000) across the world occur in just six countries — the United States, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, and Guatemala.
Meanwhile, the problem just seems to be getting worse. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of gun-related homicides has been consistently rising for the past few years.
Those are just two statistics from a wide range that indicate this trend is heading in a worrying direction. As with any other critical issue, some researchers and entrepreneurs have tried to tackle the problem through innovation. Their efforts have culminated in Patriot One’s underlying CMR (cognitive microwave radar) technology.
The way it works is somewhat straightforward — the PATSCAN device has a signal generator and two antennas. The radio signal is generated and broadcast from one antenna, and the other antenna receives the waves when they bounce back. The company’s algorithm compares the reflected waves against a database to figure out if the object detected is a weapon.
It’s not just guns. This system can detect a wide range of common weapons from knives to pressure cookers. The PAT database includes radio signatures of the most commonly used weapons and materials in global terrorist incidents, knife homicides, and gun fights.
The company’s trademarked PATSCAN suite of security solutions have been designed to be quickly integrated and deployed with legacy security systems. This means the technology can enhance surveillance cameras, biometric entry devices, and turnstiles to enhance security in any protected area.
This PATSCAN CMR technology has won awards, met Federal Communications Commission and Industry Canada regulatory requirements, been verified through a series of tests by an accredited third-party laboratory, and recently been approved by the Canadian federal government for testing by the Department of National Defence.
In other words, the technology works and could potentially save lives.
According to a recent report, the market for such security systems could be as high as US$456.56 billion by 2021. Meanwhile, Patriot One’s market cap recently crossed $300 million. If the company can capture even a fraction of this global market over the next few years, investors could be in for a windfall.
Patriot One’s weapon-detection technology is not only innovative and tested, it’s also urgently required. Across the Americas, gun crime, terrorism, and homicides are on the rise. Deploying Patriot One’s technology could save lives while rewarding shareholders who support the company early on.
However, Patriot One is a risky stock, just like any other startup listed on the Toronto Venture Exchange. Investors need to read the fine print before diving in.
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Fool contributor Vishesh Raisinghani has no position in the companies mentioned.