One Washington-based security company says it believes it has a new technology to keep gun violence out of many public places.
Barbecan Security Systems, LLC. says it has been granted a patent for a "Linear Revolving Door" robotic security portal. The company says the system would scan for weapons without slowing down pedestrian traffic, the way security checkpoints at airports do. Barbecan says its elaborate revolving doors could be installed in shopping malls, schools, banks, airports, stadiums, military bases and other places.
Bob Osann, managing director of Barbecan, said the concept behind the linear revolving door evolved after the Virginia Tech school shooting in 2007.
"I found it unacceptable that someone could walk into a building and kill 32 people, when in theory you could keep them out," said Osann.
In a statement, Barbecan says "a guard at a building entrance won't stop a determined and well armed attacker -- especially if they have suicidal motivations." The statement says "gun control is not the answer."
Barbecan says it believes it has a better one.
How It Works
The linear revolving door is equipped with sensors to follow the position and movements of anyone walking through the entrance. Barbecan says the sensors "would know where their arms are, legs are. It will keep out of their way and move at their pace." The technology would adapt to the speed of the individual inside a portal outfitted with metal detectors to keep a possible shooter from entering a public space.
In the company's video animation, people walk through as the double revolving doors robotically follow their pace. (Osann said the company's animation is simplified, showing each person moving at the same pace, when in reality, individuals will move at different speeds.) If a person's pace picks up, the panels of the portal doors move more quickly. If their pace slows or they stop, the rotation doors will too.
The security system will be covered on top, so that a person cannot sneak a weapon past the detectors.
"When a threat is detected, the portal reverses and the potential assailant is backed out of the portal," said Barbecan Security in its description. "The LRD will not let an armed gunman enter a building. Period."
The LRD gives entrances with high traffic the option to stack portals to accommodate for even higher traffic volumes -- in other words, it can be operated to adjust to the flow of traffic depending on the time of day or when traffic flow increases or decreases. Osann said an attendant or software could set the speed or flow of the portals to match the amount of foot traffic passing through.
Since 2008, Osann said, the company has been sending patent applications in the U.S. and overseas. Osann said he believes now is the time to use such security technology, following the shootings in Aurora, Colo., Newtown, Conn. and elsewhere.
"The purpose of this is primarily to save lives and eventually to reduce the amount of episodes we keep seeing," he said. "I don't see these problems going away. When we started on this, my estimation was that it'll just get worse -- and guess what, it's just gotten worse."