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Gunshot Tracking Cameras to be Deployed in LA

samzenpus posted more than 9 years ago | from the mixed-senses dept.

Privacy 480

apok04 writes "Get out your tinfoil hats (and ski masks). A USC engineer uses his expertise with nerve cells to create a surveillance system that can recognize the sound of a nearby gunshot - and identify the shooter. In a unique pilot program, L.A. and Chicago will deploy test units in high-crime areas. The creator emphasizes that the system cannot recognize voices or words, but his previous research into speech recognition systems suggests otherwise."

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Response Time (5, Interesting)

fembots (753724) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969107)

The system can then locate, precisely, where the shot was fired, turn a camera to center the shooter in the camera viewfinder and make a 911 call to a central police station.

If the shooter is still there, she deserves to be caught.

According to the article, this device is listening for the entire sound pattern of the gunshot, not just the initial explosion, which makes it much less likely to mistake other loud noises for shooting.

So it may be difficult to fool it unless you can also simulate the whole shooting sequence (think of Matrix's bullet time).

I guess FPS game developers can use one of these to create realistic gunshot sounds.

Re:Response Time (4, Interesting)

lordkuri (514498) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969152)

Thing is, this can work both ways... if the police have a "questionable" incident, will the video be availiable to the public? I'm thinking no...

Re:Response Time (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10969185)

If the shooter is still there, she deserves to be caught.

Are you saying anyone stupid enough to still be there must be a woman?

(No, don't take this message too seriously.)

Re:Response Time (1, Offtopic)

Saeger (456549) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969325)

He's probably just one of those Politically Correct, feminized-types who's jumped on the bandwagon of alternating between using "he" and "she" in order to appear less "sexist".

--

Re:Response Time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10969464)

Well the dudes username is fembots.

This system would have been useful in 1984. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10969208)

This system for recognizing the shooter would have been useful in 1984. At that time, the Chinese government of Taiwan commited the first and, so far, only successful assassination in the USA [geocities.com] . The actual Chinese who pulled the trigger could not be identified.

The Reagan administration told the Taiwanese that if they did not punish the person who masterminded the plot, then the USA would levy sanctions against Taiwan. The Taiwanese promptly complied, and the military officer who masterminded the plot was sent to prison.

Re:This system would have been useful in 1984. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10969266)

err you are way off topic .... but you seem to have forgotten JFK, RFK, MLK, Lincoln, etc etc

how would you have considered an assanation of Lincoln to be successfull

Re:This system would have been useful in 1984. (1)

laughingcoyote (762272) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969281)

1984 huh...what an appropriate year for this subject!

Re:This system would have been useful in 1984. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10969388)

I should mention that this assassination is a first in the sense that it is the first and only successful one by a foreign government. The incident occurred in Daly City, California in 1984.

Re:This system would have been useful in 1984. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10969463)

Yeah, it must be true because some random propoganda screed says so. Seriously everyone, go to the page and read it. This is why we have freedom of speech -- it exposes the kooks early.

I got a few pages that say the moon landing was faked.

Re:Response Time (2, Interesting)

Dorsai65 (804760) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969253)

More likely it depends on the time it takes to slew a camera or three around to point at the source. If they've got 3 cameras per sensor, then each camera would only have to rotate +/- 60 degrees - which doesn't seem like much.

As for gunshots, I'd wager that it wouldn't take 2 seconds for the system to recognize them. And I'd be willing to bet more on the fact that most gang-bangers are stupid enough to hang around for the few seconds it would take for the system to recognize and lock in on them. I mean, if they had any sense, they wouldn't be gang-bangers, right?

IF they're going to be setting up a bunch of cameras anyway, then adding this to the lashup might accidentally be a Good Thing, as long as it only works they way they say it does.

Re:Response Time (1)

That's Unpossible! (722232) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969371)

So it may be difficult to fool it unless you can also simulate the whole shooting sequence

But why would you want to fool it into thinking you fired a shot? So you can be arrested for shooting a gun? Surely people would rather try NOT to get picked up by the device.

I guess FPS game developers can use one of these to create realistic gunshot sounds.

Hmmm I think it would be easier just to do what they already do, and simply record real gunshot sounds. :-)

Re:Response Time (1)

gcaseye6677 (694805) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969441)

I'll have to agree with the parent poster here. If you have nothing to shoot, you have nothing to fear.

ha ha (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10969115)

first gunshot found!

what if (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10969122)

what if they shoot the camera?

Re:what if (1)

Mechcommander (784124) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969257)

Think about it. Since this will most likely be deployed by cities, therefore big brother / government, there isn't going to be just *one camera.
Thank you, George Orwell.

Re:what if (1)

DaFallus (805248) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969356)

Most big cities already have cameras at stoplights and on freeways, and those are in place to catch people for speeding and running lights. Having cameras in place to catch people firing guns in public sounds like a better use of government surveillance.

On the other hand, its time for me to build that homemade silencer that I've been putting off for the past few years...

Re:what if (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10969260)

I just gets really pissed off, like Robocop.

I wonder... (5, Funny)

Telastyn (206146) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969129)

If the surveilance system will determine who fired before it ceases to function due to gunshot damage.

Re:I wonder... (1)

ANeufeld (835531) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969205)

That would be defeated by having two (or more) cameras. The second would catch the person who shot at the first.

Of course, if you believe in the 'second gunman hypothesis...'

Re:I wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10969336)

Besides I doubt that the camera is going have bright flashing neon lights attached to it. More than likely the shooter wouldn't even know where the camera is.

Seems a great idea (4, Insightful)

Maqueo (766442) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969132)

Get out your tinfoil hats

Why?

Doesn't seem like a bad idea to know who's shooting who - don't you think?

Re:Seems a great idea (1)

dykofone (787059) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969243)

I'm pretty sure he was referring to your ballistics-grade tinfoil hats.

You know, the ones with a kevlar liner that can stop bullets and mind control.

Re:Seems a great idea (1)

double-oh three (688874) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969250)

Well, I for one have one on tightly because it's 1984 without the posters or screens. A camera with a very sensitive mic that tracks sound? How are we to know that these devices won't record conversation covertly? It's no mind-reading, but it is the ability of police to listen to all conversationand perhaps use it for their own ends. The system is only as strong as it's weakest link.

Re:Seems a great idea (1)

Sebastian Jansson (823395) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969251)

Yeah, and I can think up of some other grat uses for it too!
Why not make it detect the words terror-action, bomb, attack and kill too?
When I come to think of it, to really get ahead of the crimes, you could make it react on stuff like "stalin", "communism", "soviet" and "I voted for nader" too!

*ponders on moving to the safe(and even almost free) USA

Re:Seems a great idea (1)

WearyVulture (740042) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969282)

The "tinfoil hat" potential would be the possibility of the government using this technology for recognition of any other sound-related patterns, such as voice recognition. If that were the case, it would be capable of logging every time somebody on its vicinity says, for instance, "tax evasion". Such voice recognition wouldn't need to be precise: you're not dictating a document, just approximating a phrase. "Good enough" would be easier to achieve.

Slippery Slope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10969286)

Yeah sure now it's gunshots, but before you know it they will be taking your picture everytime you fart.

Re:Seems a great idea (0, Flamebait)

ratamacue (593855) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969329)

Why?

Because when government spies on innocent people, it adopts the principle of guilty before proven innocent. This principle is immoral, corrupt, unjust, and backwards.

Under a just system of law, individuals are innocent until proven guilty.

Re:Seems a great idea (1)

stubear (130454) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969351)

They would stil be innocent until they shot a gun and a judge and jury was given the opportunity to view the taped evidence, thus proving they are no longer innocent and can be fitted for a new orange jumpsuit.

Re:Seems a great idea (1)

kaustik (574490) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969404)

How is this spying on innocent people? I assume the cameras would be placed in areas that are currently and openly video taped (gas stations, political offices, shady apartment buildings, etc). We know there are cameras there and those of us that are not pulling triggers generally feel safer because of them. Cameras without this gunshot ability would have a better chance of incriminating an innocent person. We've all seen those blury black and white shots on "Real TV" "Cops"s, etc where you can hear a loud bang and then shortly after see a small group of people - those tapes give no indication as to where the sound came from and right away make anyone in view a suspect. This sort of thing could actually rule out innocents. This sounds like a step up to me.

Re:Seems a great idea (3, Insightful)

That's Unpossible! (722232) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969428)

Because when government spies on innocent people...

These people are in public areas, presumably. No spying would be involved.

it adopts the principle of guilty before proven innocent

I could see this case if (1) they were actually 'spying' and (2) if it was humans doing it rather than a computer system defined specifically to look for ILLEGAL ACTIONS, and the system has proven to be ACCURATE.

It is illegal to fire a weapon in the city. I don't see a problem with a system designed to report a fired weapon, record video of the person firing it, and calling for help.

Protecting citizens from violence is one of the very few jobs the federal government is actually SUPPOSED to be doing, according to the Constitution.

Under a just system of law, individuals are innocent until proven guilty.

I wasn't aware that this system was finding anyone guilty? That is still done in a court of law.

Re:Seems a great idea (4, Insightful)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969469)

Because when government spies on innocent people

Who said anything about spying? This system is well known and out in the open. By this logic, photo radar and red-light cameras should be banned, because they "spy" on driver behaviours.

Now, if the government was secretly monitoring specific people it felt were "dangerous", but haven't yet committed a crime, I'd have a problem. But this system most certainly doesn't fit that definition.

it adopts the principle of guilty before proven innocent.

Oooh, pulling out the strawman... nice...

This principle is immoral, corrupt, unjust, and backwards.

And there you go, knocking it down. Well done, but you failed to actually make a point.

Under a just system of law, individuals are innocent until proven guilty.

Very true. Of course, the idea that this system deviates from that principle is a matter of opinion rather than fact.

Meanwhile, out in Comptom (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10969140)

In unrelated news, sources report that knive sales have skyrocketed in recent days. No plausible explanation could be found.

Re:Meanwhile, out in Comptom (1)

ocularDeathRay (760450) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969378)

I hear dickshonary sales are up too.

So many kinds of guns to choose from.... (4, Funny)

CarnivoreMan (827905) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969142)

Well I guess that just means its time to switch over to my golfball gun or spudgun... Bwa ha ha ha

I thought they already have this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10969145)

I thought in LA they already have a system of listening devices on mutiple towers in a given high crime area that can triangulate the exact spot a shot was fired from. Or is this the same thing?

Re:I thought they already have this? (2, Informative)

Mechcommander (784124) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969341)

Correct, there are systems in place that can detect gunshots and make an approxomation of where the shooting took place, but according to the article:

"A microphone surveillance system now is using his insights to recognize - instantly, and with high accuracy - the sound of a gunshot within a two-block radius. The system can then locate, precisely, where the shot was fired, turn a camera to center the shooter in the camera viewfinder and make a 911 call to a central police station."

So, this system can locate exactly where a shot was fired, as well as turn local cameras in the area of the shot towards the shooter.

Re:I thought they already have this? (1)

cyber_rigger (527103) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969471)

It's time to start speaking Navajo with a Klingon accent.

Keeping score (2, Funny)

levik (52444) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969147)

The system operates on a "point" scheme, where each "thug" receives credit for referring "friends" into the system.

The LAPD has also promised a speedy patch to adress the widespread camera control issues in the first release.

GTA (1)

frankmu (68782) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969150)

any chance we can have this feature incorporated in the next Grand Theft Auto?

Big Brother (0, Troll)

Miketsmith (836404) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969156)

Big Brother is watching you...

Re:Big Brother (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10969202)

More like he is listening to you

Amazing! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10969162)

Brilliant detective work!

An engineer working in the area of sound recognition who's also done work in voice recognition. Boy, you really found the smoking gun!

Good or bad? (3, Insightful)

joemc91 (757436) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969171)

I don't really know if this is a good or bad thing. I like the idea of having people caught quickly but at the same time I feel that law enforcement agencies would quickly find a way to constantly monitor the cameras, cutting into our privacy even more. Since these cameras are in public it doesn't bother me as much.

Over all I think it's a good idea but it will be exploited so I can't support it fully, even though I'd like to.

In other news... (4, Funny)

xv4n (639231) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969172)

An increase in gun-silencers sales has been reported.

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10969419)

Another trick could be to light off a bunch of firecrackers while you're shooting. Just another way to fill the system with useless noise(chaf). Infrared cameras? Blind them with flares or strobes.

Re:In other news... (1)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969427)

Would be funny, except silencers are extremely expensive and nearly impossible to legally obtain.

Tinfoil Hats? (1)

had3l (814482) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969176)

I don't have to be careful, I've got a gun.

Get out that camera! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10969181)

And put a sniper rifle instead. Kill instantly the offender.

Neural nets commit no mistakes, or I am wrong?

With this system... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10969184)

hey, at least we could've proved than Han shot first!

Here's Hoping (3, Funny)

techsoldaten (309296) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969186)

I just hope they make it multiplayer and include a deathmatch mode. Also, does the system support skinning?

M

Cuts both ways? (1)

lordkuri (514498) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969187)

misposted this earlier, my bad

Thing is, this can work both ways... if the police have a "questionable" incident, will the video be availiable to the public or courts? I'm thinking no...

Bay Area Scam (4, Interesting)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969190)

A few years back one of the cities in the Bay Area (I want to say East Palo Alto, but I'm not sure) deployed a system of microphones which would pinpoint the location of a gunshot and then forward that to police.

As I recall it turned out that the company doing this was closely affiliated with one of the local politicos and the system was basically bunk. I don't remember how it all played out, but maybe someone else out there does?

Re:Bay Area Scam (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10969261)

Uh, I thought it was ShotSpotter, who deployed one of their first systems in redwood city, ca; and has since seen growing successes across the country, www.shotspotter.com [shotspotter.com]

Stupid idea. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10969194)

This can accurately determine where a gun shot was fired, which is useful, I suppose. But, in the article it states that a camera is used to identify and track the culprit. In order to deter gun related crime properly, there'd have to be cameras EVERYWHERE.

*puts on tinfoil hat*
Big Brother is watching!

Right then. (4, Funny)

laughingcoyote (762272) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969206)

Machine sounds are the only ones in SENTRI's vocabulary. It cannot eavesdrop on conversations, the scientist emphasized.

...because we're not done coding that yet, you've got at least another few years.

What about crappy cars? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10969209)

So this thing is going to take my picture everytime my '78 Ford Pinto backfires? Sheesh, I think I really do need a tinfoil hat (or a new car).

Re:What about crappy cars? (1)

geekBass (665923) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969315)

So this thing is going to take my picture everytime my '78 Ford Pinto backfires? Sheesh, I think I really do need a tinfoil hat (or a new car)

RTFA --- "The device is listening for the entire sound pattern of the gunshot, not just the initial explosion, which makes it much less likely to mistake other loud noises for shooting." AND "Field tests with real weapons have shown 95 percent accuracy with respect to gunshot recognition"

Re:What about crappy cars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10969467)

First of all, if you have ever heard a car backfire it sounds very much like a gunshot. So "much less likely to mistake other loud noises" doesn't sound too reaffirming.

Second of all this was developed by USC, and hey guess what, the article is on USC news, so I would take their results with a grain of salt.

And last but not least the part about "95 percent accuracy with respect to gunshot recognition" is irrelevant, I have no doubt that if I shoot I gun 100 times it will recognize it 95 times.

Can the camera lock onto a moving target (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10969218)

If the system is calculating timed pulses, does that mean it can also determine the direction and velocity of the shooter, as in a drive by shooting, and lock the camera onto that projected calculation?

Previous research suggests otherwise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10969223)

The creator emphasizes that the system cannot recognize voices or words, but his previous research into speech recognition systems suggests otherwise.

You better not go shooting your mouth off in LA.

"You are fined one credit for a violation of the Verbal Morality Statute..."

The not too distant future... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10969225)

Man on street yells: "Allah Ackbar!!! Allah Ackbar!!!!!"
*Directional Finder*: 1) TRIANGULATING... 2) AIMING... 3) FIRING BULLET!
Man on street: "Allah *BAM* Ackkkkkkbahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhrr!!gurgl..lee..l.. ."

SCENE 2

Woman on street whispers to friend: "I hate that dumb idiot Bush"
*Directional Finder*: 1) TRIANGULATING... 2) AIMING... 3) FIRING MIND CONTROL BEAM!
Woman on street whispers to friend: "I.... I... love Bush... and I love Jesus, SUVs, large corporations, and I agree with the righteousness of preemptively saving the rest of the world from themselves and their oil. Let's go shopping."

Re:The not too distant future... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10969355)

She should have remembered to wear her tinfoil hat!!! Dumb blondes. I tell ya....

Re:The not too distant future... (0)

dustinbarbour (721795) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969430)

Every fuckin' story must contain someon'es political opinion, doesn't it? Seriously.. It gets old.

This was in a game (1)

RichardX (457979) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969233)

What game does this remind me of? There was some game where there were little pods on top of all the street lamps that detected gunshots and fired back at the shooter.. for some reason I'm thinking it was Liberation on the Amiga/CD32.. or possibly even Syndicate or Syndicate Wars.. anyone know what I'm babbling on about, 'cuz I don't

Re:This was in a game (1)

MalleusEBHC (597600) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969339)

I'm sure this has been in multiple games, but I know that something similar was in Deus Ex when you went to China. (Although they did let you get that badass energy sword, so it made up for things.)

Re:This was in a game (1)

despik (691728) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969424)

I don't remember any in Syndicate, but there definitely was a gunshot detector in the Hong-Kong levels in Deus Ex.

A better solution. (1)

ComputarMastar (570258) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969236)

Just do what they do in Los Santos and make every other person a cop with the authority to use deadly force for any crime.

Beserk (1)

bryan986 (833912) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969242)

The cameras will go berserk trying to capture all of the shootings if they put them in high crime areas

Redwood City? (1)

wfmcwalter (124904) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969244)

Haven't they had the audio part of this (figuring out where gunshots come from) in Redwood City, CA, for years? I believe they do (or did), but that it went bonkers every Cinco de Mayo.

It'd be cool if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10969256)

Once it did detect gunfire that it would play sounds of other guns and semi-automatic gun fire to scare off the person who shot the gun in the first place.

And make siren noises and shoot friggin laser beams, but that would be for version 2.

Star Wars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10969264)

If only this technology existed a long time ago in a galaxy far far away...

We would really know who shot first, Han Solo or Greedo.

Hello, paranoid much? (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969267)

The creator emphasizes that the system cannot recognize voices or words, but his previous research into speech recognition systems suggests otherwise.

Right... so, surprise surprise, this guy has done research in speech recognition, an area likely quite related to the job of recognizing gunshots, and so somehow we must assume that this system is going to be used to spy on the general public? Damn... Slashdot is getting worse than FOX for just making things up in order to add some sensationalism to its stories.

Re:Hello, paranoid much? (0, Redundant)

mabinogi (74033) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969331)

I was thinking the same thing myself.

his previous research into speech regognition suggests nothing other than the fact that he is qualified to develop a system that can identify certain sounds.

Why so long? (4, Interesting)

Easy2RememberNick (179395) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969283)

I remember seeing a system like this years ago. I'm quite sure in the 1980's! Possibly on that Beyond 2000 science show from Australia (we get weird shows here sometimes). I wondered why it was never used it seems like a great invention.

Why so long to get a system like this produced?

Put it in Iraq attached to a machine gun, calibrated to shoot at the sound of an AK-47 not an M16. Since it seems to be able to tune out other explosive noises why not refine it ever further to just a certain gun type?

The device is listening for the entire sound pattern of the gunshot, not just the initial explosion, which makes it much less likely to mistake other loud noises for shooting.

the speed of sound... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10969285)

...is, what, about 760 MPH? So, the camera is sound activated? And takes a picture. Of what? It takes a picture of reflected light. Which travels at 186,282 miles per SECOND.

Tell me what I'm missing here, somebody. Unless L.A. is a big TiVO that exists 5 seconds into the past and 20 seconds into the future, like some kind of fuzzy warp point in time-space, I don't get how this works.

Re:the speed of sound... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10969337)

because any prosecutor would gladly accept a picture of the defendant 1.5 seconds after he/she pulled the trigger

Sweet! (1)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969287)

Just attach a high-powered rifle on a robotic rig (from that recent 'web cam gun') to this baby and stick it in a blimp and you could solve a city's crime problems in a day! (yeah im anti gun rights, sue me).

Re:Sweet! (1)

CarnivoreMan (827905) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969363)

It'd have to be Optimus Prime's severed arm with a big gun in hand doing the automated firing. .. and mounted to a flagpole or something if I remember correctly.. Isnt that how it was in an episode of The Transformers?

old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10969293)

This is OLD news man. I heard about this 2 years ago in Popular Science.

Re:old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10969431)

oh YEAH? Well I read about it in Nature 3 YEARS AGO.

Huh? (5, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969299)

The creator emphasizes that the system cannot recognize voices or words, but his previous research into speech recognition systems suggests otherwise.

Uh, no, it doesn't. The fact that the guy has worked on different types of signal processing doesn't "suggest" that he builds those capacities into every project he touches.

Pair this with a computer controlled rifle... (1)

Sleepy (4551) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969344)

... and take out the perp immediately.

(irony)
Seems like these could be deployed all over the place then. They'd be useful in Iraq ;-)
(/irony)

Of course, some technology shouldnt be done just because ITS POSSIBLE..

Re:Pair this with a computer controlled rifle... (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969435)

"Seems like these could be deployed all over the place then. They'd be useful in Iraq ;-)"

Indeed.

I'd go so far as to configure it to automatically kill *anyone* who fires a gun in Iraq.

Within a week or so, problem solved;
no more gun-wielding terrorists and no more gun-wielding soldiers.

Its a win win situation.

Old Tech (1)

sakusha (441986) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969352)

I remember quite a few years back when I read about a similar system developed at Lawrence Livermore Labs, they used an array of microphones deployed across the city to triangulate the source of gunshots, and activate cameras pointing at the source. A few years back I even saw a demo on some science show about what LLL had cooked up for the military, a portable version for use against snipers in combat zones, it triangulates.. and SHOOTS BACK.

Limitations (5, Funny)

kilocomp (234607) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969358)

During the initial studies the camera was placed in front of a TV with Star Wars on it. The sophisticated equipment could still not tell who shot first between Greedo or Han.

Multiple sources (2, Insightful)

kmahan (80459) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969360)

So how does it deal with multiple gunshots coming from different shooters? (i.e., gunfight)

I can see that camera jumping back and forth trying to catch each shot.

Re:Multiple sources (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969454)

hmmm DoSsing it with a bunch of people with guns and a pile of ammo wearing out its bearings...

gweedo (0, Redundant)

diablobsb (444773) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969373)

now lets use one on star wars and really see if Han shoots first!

What about silencers/suppressors? (2, Informative)

Money for Nothin' (754763) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969377)

TFA doesn't indicate that the engineer accounts for silencers/suppressors, stating only:

The device is listening for the entire sound pattern of the gunshot, not just the initial explosion, which makes it much less likely to mistake other loud noises for shooting.

A specially configured computer system (a "directional analyzer") accurately calculates any authenticated gunshot's location - using the difference in the time the sound arrives at the different microphones on a SENTRI acoustic unit.


Fine, so it detects the sound. Minimize the volume of the sound, or change the profile of that sound, and the shot becomes less-likely to be detected. A suppressor would help in the former, but I'm not sure about the latter (any experts?).

Suppressors are not difficult to manufacture [yahoo.com] , after all, although it's a felony to do so (or to possess one), in violation of the 1934 National Firearms Act...

Predictions:
1) monitoring devices get destroyed and/or hacked, and/or
2) suppressors increase in popularity, and/or
3) alternate means of killing (knives, swords, blowguns, etc.) increase in popularity

or,

4) nothing changes, except more shooters are detected

Anyway, just because the microphone's input is piped to a neural-net program which detects gunshots does not mean the input cannot *also* be outputted to a file, or to speakers on a computer, etc..

Get your recordings ready (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10969381)

Get your recordings of gunshuts ready! Watch them hunt down phantom shooters!

What about black cat fireworks???

Just ban the GUNS!!! (2, Insightful)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969416)

Just ban the guns and the problem will go away!!!

!!!

multiple shootings? (2, Funny)

nizo (81281) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969418)

I picture the camera rotating so fast it turns to butter as all the idiots fire their guns up in the air on new years eve.

stupid final comment (0, Redundant)

glockenspieler (692846) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969421)

The creator emphasizes that the system cannot recognize voices or words, but his previous research into speech recognition systems suggests otherwise.

Don't be a dumbass. If someone is doing work in pattern recognition in an audio signal, something, something that they have done is related to speech recognition.

this is like saying that because a programmer has contributed code to Apache and MySQL, that this suggests that they might be trying to hide database software in the webserver.

Sorry, but it was a stupid side comment that makes you look like a dolt.

Computer games (1)

Belgarath52 (121024) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969425)

Pure speculation, but I'm curious whether a computer gamer with a high-end sound system, turned up fairly loud, would trigger the gunshot sensor.

Watch out for future Rap CD's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10969437)

...that have plenty of gunfire on the tracks. You'll have reports of gunmen speeding down the freeway at 65 MPH.

BTW, will it identify the cannons in the 1812 Overture?

I fail to see why this helps (1)

asr_man (620632) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969443)

Pointing a camera with a smoking bullet hole in it will accomplish what exactly?

so much for eyewitness testimony (1)

themaidtricks (823827) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969447)

If this is implemented and works well, eyewitness testimony will become a lot less important, and this will probably be just as important as DNA evidence.

But I would hate to be wrongly accused by one of these things.

Multi-point acoustic locating (1)

redelm (54142) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969452)

A relatively simple problem with a grid of microphones, three or more picking up the shot and precisely measuring delays. A slight complexity with the thermals and increase in the speed of sound with temperature.

Pole-mounted cameras could be pivoted and focussed within 5 seconds, but nobody may be identifiable from that angle, the vehicle will be gone, or there may be visual obstructions. Still a help to police, other than on New Years!

What's the point? (1)

Sir_Jeff (836043) | more than 9 years ago | (#10969466)

Should they put effort into stopping people before the gun shot? i.e. police the streets?
And I wear a tin foil hat because it's styley!
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