Utah to test new 3D imaging technology to detect potential threats

Posted at 6:55 AM, May 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-22 12:45:41-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah's Attorney General is getting in on new technology designed to detect threats before they walk in the door.

The attorney general's office has signed a memorandum of understanding with Liberty Defense to test out its HexWave technology.

"It detects metallic and nonmetallic items in real time. It uses artificial intelligence for analysis for the 3D images it finds," Bill Riker, Liberty Defense's CEO, said in an interview with FOX 13.

The tech could determine if someone is a threat or not. It is not facial recognition, Riker said, but is utilized to detect a potential weapon. He said it could be deployed at mass gatherings like concerts, malls, stadiums, public transit stops and government buildings.

"The flexibility to apply this threat detection technology across all these potential venues," he said.

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes said he expected it would be used at the Sundance Film Festival. Park City has expressed an interest in the technology, which was developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

"Utah is very well known for being a tech friendly state. The AG’s office has success with technology and policing and law enforcement. Trying to strike the balance between privacy interests on one side and security and safety. Hexwave seems to be in the sweet spot," he said.

The deal between the Utah Attorney General's Office and Liberty Defense allows the tech to be tried out in Utah. But speaking about the procurement process, Reyes said the state is not spending tax dollars for it, nor committing to exclusively use it.

"I think it’s worth looking at to see if it becomes viable," he said.

Reacting to the story, the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah expressed some concern about the experiment: