SIA New Member Profile: Databuoy Corporation

New Security Industry Association (SIA) member Databuoy Corporation offers defense research-based gunshot detection and localization products. The company is headquartered in Tysons Corner, Virginia.  

SIA spoke with Kathleen Griggs, CEO of Databuoy Corporation, about the company, the security industry and working with SIA.

Tell us the story of your company.

Databuoy CEO Kathleen Griggs

Kathleen Griggs: Databuoy and our gunshot detection and localization products are the result of a 15-year progression starting with a decade of U.S. defense research funded largely by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) followed by product commercialization for public safety and security. The decision to move to public safety came around the year 2015, when Databuoy was able to produce the system at a reasonable cost such that it could be sold in the commercial market as a solution to increasing gun violence.

Our technology is rooted in defense research, and so are our people. We have an incredible team of engineers and scientists. I and our core team have been working together since the early days of the DARPA research efforts. What is truly special about Databuoy is that we have experts in a variety of disciplines that work synergistically to create products that have leading-edge capabilities and are robust and reliable.

What solutions/services does your business offer in the security industry? And what makes your offerings/company unique?

KG: Our Shotpoint system is not only a gunshot detection system, but also a localization system. Other companies market devices that report the device location that detects the shot. Our system resolves the actual location of the source of the shot in 3D with extreme accuracy.

The fact that our system works both indoors and outdoors is somewhat unique. Other systems are sold as either indoor or outdoor systems, but we address both markets. One other unique capability is the fact that we can resolve the trajectory of rifle shots (in 3D of course) that enables us to pick out a sniper shooting from a distance.

Databuoy’s product base includes a rich data management and reporting back end that enables us to integrate with a range of security systems, video management systems and notification systems. We have a concise event reporting format that was developed with years of user testing and input. Our reporting tool is refined to enable responders to react instantly without any training on the system.  

Databuoy offers more than shot localization. Our acoustic networks can provide reports on filtered, nonshot sounds that indicate unusual activity.

Finally, we are now offering our Geofob mobile panic button. The Geofob uses our sensors as base stations. The tiny, key fob-sized panic buttons can be assigned to specific users and worn or carried on a keychain. Panic locations are reported through the same software that was designed to support shot location. This means that teams can instantly know if an employee, contractor, student, guest or visitor needs urgent assistance, along with their identity and exact location. 

What is something we might not know about your company – or something new you are doing in security?

KG: Our company name, Databuoy Corporation, is borrowed from the distributed communications buoys that persist in the world’s oceans and help vessels with important navigational information. Similarly, on land our devices serve information that helps responders navigate to where they are needed.

Our company is an engineering and product manufacturing company. That means we build our product. Whether it’s a government facility or retail establishment, it’s important to know where the products that provide surveillance are sourced. Our technology can be trusted with U.S. components, firmware and supporting software. Our platform is a hardware-accelerated multichannel audio analytic sensor and a computing platform that can support many general-purpose functions, including hosting of other peripherals. Our platform is also a base station for our new mobile panic button product.

What is your company’s vision, and what are your goals for the security industry?

KG: As we move into the future, our physical environment is destined to become smarter. Surveillance and security networks and systems are growing in quantity and coverage. Adding more data and technology doesn’t necessarily mean we will be safer. It is Databuoy’s vision and mission to create systems such that the information provided to responders in a life safety emergency is always precise and is providing the right intelligence about the event that is needed to have an effective response. We want to field technology that saves lives, plain and simple.   

What do you think are the biggest opportunities in the security industry right now?

KG: I personally think the biggest opportunities that are for security and life safety products to be enhanced with features that monitor for other kinds of events, such as working with smart building technology or traffic management systems. The more useful the products can be from an everyday standpoint, the more likely they are to be purchased and installed and be where you are when you need them.

What are the biggest challenges facing your company and/or others in the security industry?

KG: The gunshot detection world is still an emerging market. While our system can save lives, there is not yet enough support in the government and occupational safety space to require properties to install systems. Right now, it is up to each individual property to assess their own risk and the potential impact to their customers, employees and overall business and decide for themselves whether to invest in a system. It is often up to the technology developer to enable a connection from the gunshot detection system to first responders including police agencies. That is slowly changing, but it presents some real challenges to companies that build technology.

What do you enjoy most about being at your company – and in the security industry?

KG: The best part about being at Databuoy is the opportunity to make a difference in the world. Building technology that can help people get the help they need in an emergency is a great thing to be working on! 

What does SIA offer that is most important to you/your company? And what do you most hope to get out of your membership with SIA?

KG: SIA’s industry credibility and broad network within the security space made our decision to join a no-brainer. Our team felt included and welcome at ISC East by the SIA representatives. We hope to build awareness of our products and services, along with making new partnerships with other SIA members. 

The views and opinions expressed in guest posts and/or profiles are those of the authors or sources and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Security Industry Association.