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  1. Science and Technology Directorate
  2. News Room
  3. S&T Awards Funds to a Startup Developing Object Detection & Tracking Algorithms for Securing Soft Targets

News Release: DHS S&T Awards Funds to Birmingham, AL, Startup Developing Object Detection and Tracking Algorithms for Securing Soft Targets

Release Date: June 15, 2023

S&T Public Affairs, 202-254-2385

WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced an award of $199,500 to Analytical AI, a Birmingham, AL-based company, to build artificial intelligence algorithms that link objects, such as unattended baggage to people, and track them from the time they enter a perimeter to when they exit.

Under its Securing Soft Targets solicitation, S&T’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) sought solutions that automatically detect anomalous events via video camera feeds; reduce error to optimize human performance; and minimize delay to enhance responsiveness in threat situations that could serve a shared mission among schools, sports venues, transportation systems, shopping venues, places of worship and amidst the general public.

“The goal of this project is to offer those heavily populated locations a layer of safety that enables quick, effective action in the event an unknown threat presents itself,” said Melissa Oh, managing director of SVIP. “Analytical AI’s innovative technology monitors movement and the exchange of objects, as well as unattended objects leading to the prevention of attacks in public areas.”

Analytical AI’s approach to the analysis of data sets allows detection of change in object location and ownership, along with a near real-time look back and forward capability that can track the handler of unattended baggage.

“Mass transit, on average, carries nearly ten times as many passengers per day as the nation’s busiest airports. With limited checkpoints for screening passengers and their belongings, our program is pursuing innovative technologies to enhance physical security and situational awareness at venues,” said Ali Fadel, program manager of the S&T Soft Targets Security Program. “Utilizing advanced algorithms to identify and alert security personnel to left behind items—in near real-time—will allow them to quickly respond to dangerous events and clear harmless, left-behind items. The intent is to integrate security solutions within a broader layered architecture to better protect commuters, riders, and families using public transportation systems or attending a mass gathering—all without impacting the speed of the traveling public.”

DHS is committed to using cutting-edge technologies and scientific advancements in its quest to make America safer. Soft targets are easily accessible to large numbers of people and have limited security or protective measures in place making them vulnerable to attack.

Last Updated: 06/15/2023
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