BALTIMORE (AP) — Oriole Park at Camden Yards will test a new security technology during the upcoming baseball season that uses 3D imaging and artificial intelligence to detect concealed weapons.
The Maryland Stadium Authority announced Tuesday the ballpark will try out a walk-through portal called Hexwave that can screen 1,000 people an hour, The Baltimore Sun reported.
Developed by a Massachusetts Institute of Technology lab, the product could make security checks faster by reducing the need to empty pockets and conduct bag checks or pat downs.
The stadium authority owns and manages Oriole Park and M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens. It signed a memo of understanding with Liberty Defense Holdings, which licenses the technology, to test Hexwave for a to-be-determined period during the 2022 season.
Vice President of Safety and Security Vernon J. Conaway Jr. said the authority is “extremely confident” in its existing security measures. He said participating in the trial will test an emerging technology that could enhance the current system.
The product can – unlike metal detectors – sense non-metal weapons such as ghost guns, 3D-printed guns or liquid and plastic explosives. It’s similar to body scanners used at most airports but operates at a lower frequency, Liberty Defense’s CEO Bill Frain told the newspaper. He said the technology does not pose any health risks or privacy issues.
Frain said due to the COVID-19 pandemic, “people are getting used to further detection, further examination before they’re going into an event.”
“Unfortunately,” he said, “we have incidents like the Michigan school shooting, and these things continue to happen at places where you wouldn’t expect.”
Hexwave, which has been in development for five years, was first beta tested at a Liberty Defense facility in Atlanta and at its Massachusetts headquarters. Frain said trials will also be conducted at an international airport, a police department, a port and a university. He did not identify specific locations.
The company is aiming to launch the product commercially late next year.