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Weapons detection tech to be trialled at Baltimore major league venues

Baltimore’s Oriole Park at Camden Yards and M&T Bank Stadium are set to become the latest sports venues to engage in the development of new technology designed to detect concealed weapons at major events.

Liberty Defense, the developer of HEXWAVE, has signed a collaboration agreement to beta test its flagship product with the Maryland Stadium Authority (MSA), the unit of state government that owns and manages the sporting venues at Camden Yards.

The 45,000-seat Oriole Park is home to Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise the Baltimore Orioles, while 72,000-seat M&T Bank Stadium hosts NFL American football team the Baltimore Ravens. Testing with the MSA is planned to kick off at Camden Yards in early 2020.

HEXWAVE uses low-power, radar imaging and artificial intelligence (AI), primarily to detect and identify weapons, without collecting or storing any personally identifiable information. The technology is capable of detecting both metallic and non-metallic items and can be used both indoors and outdoors.

Liberty Defense claims this flexibility can enable a layered defence strategy for a venue, meaning that threats can be detected early, at the perimeter of the property, without obstructing the movement of large groups of people.

Bill Riker, CEO of Liberty Defense, said: “Baltimore has long been a sports-oriented city. One of our key market verticals is sports and entertainment venues, and we are delighted to add Baltimore, home to two premier sports teams, and Camden Yards to our beta testing program.

“To date, Liberty has had overwhelming interest from the major professional sporting leagues, particularly in North America, but also in Europe.”

The beta testing phase follows the initial alpha testing that is taking place at Liberty’s Center of Excellence laboratory in Atlanta, Georgia.

Vernon J. Conaway, Jr., vice-president of safety and security at Maryland Stadium Authority, said: “It’s important for us to ensure, not only a great experience for our guests, but also a safe and secure experience as well. HEXWAVE is an exciting new innovation that provides an answer to the security challenges we face today.”

The agreement with MSA comes after Liberty Defense agreed similar deals earlier this year with German Bundesliga football club Bayern Munich and Rogers Arena, the home of the Vancouver Canucks NHL ice hockey franchise in Canada.

Image: Maryland Stadium Authority