OHS tests new ‘Zeroeyes’ AI weapon detection system


Courtesy of ZeroEyes

This story was originally published in the fourth edition of The Lion’s Tale (February 7, 2021).

Oviedo High School (OHS) has introduced a new weapon detection system called ZeroEyes, which uses artificial intelligence to monitor live camera footage in order to detect the presence of weapons throughout campus.

Following the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that occurred just three years ago, OHS and many other high schools have taken extra security precautions to prevent a similar situation.

OHS has several measures and policies in place to promote safety, including the presence of multiple school resource officers and security personnel, a threat assessment team and emergency response plan. The ZeroEyes system is the latest addition to this array.

”ZeroEyes utilizes the school’s existing cameras and analytic technology that learns how to detect guns on an ongoing basis,” said county director of school safety and security Rick Francis.

The ZeroEyes system, developed by a team of technologists and former Navy SEALs, sends an alert to school staff and security when a weapon is detected, with the goal of confronting a threat before violence occurs and giving first responders a better understanding of the situation when they arrive. The company’s website describes it as equivalent to “having military-grade intelligence monitoring your facility at all times.”

The gun detection technology is currently being used in schools in New Jersey, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. OHS is the first school to launch this pilot program in Seminole County.

The technology debuted at OHS on Jan. 13, with a demonstration of how it works and its effectiveness. Company representatives also answered questions from the administration.

“My goal was to bring awareness of the AI technology in weapon detection and highlight the partnership between my office and ZeroEyes,” Francis said. ZeroEyes has effectively spent months adjusting the system to fit the school’s needs, and there are talks of expanding the system to other county schools.

“The district is focused on our mission to safeguard the safety and security of our students, staff, and property [and on] creating safe, orderly, and welcoming learning environments,” Francis said.