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Gunfire sensors that Troy ditched to be used in GE street lights

November 23, 2015

General Electric Co. is working with the developer of the ShotSpotter technology used to quickly pinpoint gunshot violence in cities.

The technology, which uses tiny microphones to pinpoint gun violence using triangulation, was once used by the city of Troy, which dropped it in 2012 after the police department found it wasn’t more reliable than when people call into the police station to report gun shots.

The city deployed 22 devices across the city.

GE Lighting of East Cleveland, Ohio signed an agreement with SST, the owner of ShotSpotter, a few months ago to incorporate the system in LED street lighting systems, a move that could improve the ease of deployment.

The systems are used in 90 cities, although there have been concerns about the effectiveness of the systems.

The new partnership between GE and SST uses GE’s industrial Internet expertise. The ShotSpotter can be incorporated into “smart” LED street lights that GE sells to cities using the light’s wireless system and microchips, offering cities a perfect mesh network at a lower cost of deployment.

It is unclear if the partnership will improve the accuracy or effectiveness of the systems, although the two companies say cities will be able to deploy the systems over a much larger area at a lower cost.

“With ShotSpotter sensors embedded into lighting fixtures throughout a city, much broader coverage areas will be available on a cost affordable basis,” ShotSpotter and GE said in a September press release.

SST is located in Newark, Calif. and is privately held.

GE’s agreement with SST is part of a larger push by GE Lighting to focus on offering cities high-end smart street lamps that can collect data on traffic and parking and relay that information back to the public using kiosks on the lights.

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