New security scanners that utilise 3D imaging and artificial intelligence are set to be tested out at Rogers Arena, the home of the Vancouver Canucks NHL ice hockey franchise in Canada.

Georgia-based Liberty Defense has signed a memorandum of understanding with the operators of Rogers Arena to carry out a trial of the technology company’s new Hexwave system within or near the arena.

The system has been designed to detect concealed weapons using radar energy to create 3D images.

According to Liberty Defense CEO bill Riker, the system uses “a form of artificial intelligence (AI) to then go ahead, in real time, to see if there’s a threat there.”

He added: “What this does is it increases the velocity of people moving through gates. It’s not intrusive and doesn’t have a big infrastructure.

“Stadiums welcome thousands of visitors daily – including children and families. These are public spaces that face a security challenge with high volumes of foot traffic and multiple entry points.

“By providing a security solution that is modular, scalable and capable of providing layered detection of potential threats, we believe that we can make these spaces safer for customers and employees.”

A prototype of the technology will be used in a beta-testing phase at the 19,000-seat venue, with the Hexwave scanners operating from pairs of 60cm-high panels that transmit and receive radar waves that provide an instantaneous resolution of objects, with the images then analysed by AI.

If successful, the technology would allow fans to file in and out of stadia without needing to stop at security checks.

Francesco Aquilini, the owner of Canucks Sports and Entertainment, is an adviser to Liberty Defense, while Vancouver financier and business executive David Sidoo was one of the founders of the company.

Liberty Defense has licensed the Hexwave technology, created at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory, and raised $12m to fund the development of the technology.

Jim Day, Rogers Arena’s director of event operations and security, added: “We are committed to our customer safety and looking for ways to improve their experiences while visiting Rogers Arena.

“This includes exploring how using cutting edge technologies can help keep our fans and visitors safe. We look forward to evaluating the capabilities of the Hexwave product.”

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