Pearson airport in Toronto to become the first Canadian airport to test us the HEXWAVE, an artificial intelligence system that detects dangerous weapons, including 3D-printed guns and pipe bombs.
Developed by Liberty Defense Holdings Ltd, a tech provider of weapons and threat detection systems, testing began on Tuesday in multiple areas of the airport and will continue for two weeks.
HEXWAVE uses AI technology to detect all types of potentially dangerous or prohibited weapons as people pass through the device and unlike regular metal detectors, it can also identify plastic weapons and plastic component parts.
The airport says the testing will offer an “opportunity to further test and train the system to continue improving HEXWAVE’s Artificial Intelligence machine learning algorithms, while also gathering user feedback.”
“The HEXWAVE’s ability to act as an additional layer of security at airports, extending the perimeter of the secured area to include the entrance to the airport itself, is an advantage,” said Bill Frain, CEO of Liberty Defense on Wednesday.
“We are thrilled to be working with the (Greater Toronto Airport Authority) as it continues to take an innovative and forward-looking approach to security and customer experience,’ he added.
“The system protects privacy by not personalizing image data, and images can never be seen by an operator,” Liberty said in a press release. “The operator only receives real-time information about threat type and location as people pass through the system.”
The AI company says the HEXWAVE system works by using a walk-through screening portal. 3D radar imaging and AI technologies work together to “detect and identify metallic and non-metallic concealed weapons and other threats”.
Travelers walking through the scanners will not have to remove any clothing or empty their pockets. The analysis also occurs in real time—those passing through the portal get a green light and proceed, or a red light indicating a potential threat.
As 3D printing becomes commonplace, the ability to print so-called “ghost guns” is also on the rise, causing Canada to sound the alarm about one of the biggest rising concerns of law enforcement in Canada and the U.S.