Statistics Canada claimed that the national homicide rate hit a 10-year high in 2017. Much of the surge is being blamed on a rise in gang violence and gun crime in the country’s largest metropolitan areas. In fact, last year 95 people were killed in Toronto alone, 50 of whom died of gunshot wounds.
The sudden surge in gun crime is a national health and safety concern that regulators may choose to tackle with tighter rules and outright bans, but there’s no doubt that technology has a part to play as well.
Vancouver-based security technology company Patriot One Technologies (TSX:PAT) may have developed the perfect solution. The team has developed a radar system that can scan a crowd and detect concealed weapons.
The system includes a generator and two antennas. The generator creates a microwave signal at a specific frequency and broadcasts it through one antenna. These waves bounce off of metallic objects and certain special materials and can be registered with the other antenna.
Augmenting the physical device with artificial intelligence (AI) allows the system to differentiate between dangerous and benign objects with similar materials. The AI model has been trained on tonnes of data such as the specifications of common guns and the unique structure of dangerous knives.
Altogether, the PATSCAN (cognitive microwave radar) CMR devices Patriot One has created can accurately spot dangerous individuals with concealed weapons and alert security about their location. The method is unobtrusive and highly effective at mitigating the risk of violence in large crowded areas.
It’s important to note that the CMR device isn’t the only solution Patriot provides. The company has managed to integrate its AI-based software into a video surveillance and chemical detector system as well. PATSCAN VTS and PATSCAN STS are both proprietary systems that can detect chemical weapons, bombs, and unique objects that can be used as weapons.
Patriot’s product portfolio seems to be so comprehensive and compelling that the company has managed to recruit over 9,000 resellers spread across more than 12 countries and partnered with defense giant Raytheon Canada Limited (RCL), a subsidiary of the Raytheon Company.
Earlier this month, the stock also successfully graduated from the Toronto Venture exchange to the main exchange.
Investors should note that despite the graduation to the main board, the company is still in its early phase of development. The company only has a handful of active clients, including the University of North Dakota, a local police force, and the Seminole County Schools.
The technology hasn’t been adopted on a wider scale and the company hasn’t yet reported any sales. However, it does have a few key partnerships with established security companies and over $65.7 million in cash on its book. Both of these could be considered green flags for potential underlying value.
Despite its graduation to the TSX main board this month, Patriot One is a risky startup-like venture developing a brand-new solution to an age-old problem.
There could be heavy demand for the company’s proposed solutions and groundbreaking tools. Crime rates are rising across the world, with gun crime, knife assaults, and terrorist attacks becoming a persistent concern.
If the company can leverage its resources and partnerships to successfully deploy these products on a wider scale and provide tangible proof of efficacy this year, investors could be in for a windfall over the long term.
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Fool contributor Vishesh Raisinghani has no position in any stocks mentioned.