Athena Security was launched in 2018 with the goal of using artificial intelligence to prevent mass shootings.
Now, the Austin-based company says, it is making it easier to get through security for concealed weapons checks.
“The days of feeling like you are being stopped and frisked by the police in a TSA security line is rapidly coming to an end,” the company said in a statement. “With Athena’s entryway towers in place, patrons and employees of any business or anyone entering any building can simply walk into the venue as normal and if they have a concealed weapon, Athena’s detection system will pick it up.”
The company was founded with the goal of developing security cameras with AI technology that alert law enforcement as soon as a gun or criminal act is detected.
In its early startup stage, Athena hired professional actors to play out crime scenarios to teach it how to quickly identify a weapon or criminal act.
“Our goal is to save lives and speed help to the scene of the crime,” Lisa Falzone, CEO and co-founder, previously told the Statesman. “As more and more school principals, business owners and religious leaders thank us for adding this extra layer of protection to keep the people they serve safe, it’s an overwhelming feeling that we’re making a difference.”
Athena’s newest customer is Champions Club Texas, which has chosen the concealed weapons detection system to protect its Houston location’s hotel, lounge, private poker club and bar. As far as what is allowed in Texas with carrying of guns, property owners have the right to ban firearms and refuse entry.
Athena says its concealed weapons detector and walk-through metal detector technology are engineered to determine a wide range of mass casualty threats such as handguns, shotguns and rifles without requiring individuals to stop as they pass through the detector. That allows for a quick and secure check-in process, the company says.
With its multiple-sensor detection method, patrons do not need to remove phones, wallets or other items from their pockets. The system adheres to federal standards, according to Athena.
The concealed weapons detection system is designed to scan those walking at an average speed of one person per second, the company says.
“At Champions we are raising the bar in hospitality and gaming, and that includes ensuring the most comfortable and safe atmosphere for our valued customers,” said Trent Touchstone, director of security at Champions Club Texas. “Athena Security is a solution that detects weapons upon entry and is one of the many layers of security protocols in place at Champions that improves operational efficiency of our security team as a workforce multiplier.”
In 2019, Athena raised $5.5 million in seed funding from Pathfinder, a San Francisco-based investment fund that backs early stage companies.
Athena operates as a totally remote business, currently has 36 employees and is hiring, the company said.