InVision Technologies Subsidiary Accelerates Development of New Weapons Detection Technology, Enters Technology Licensing Agreement.
New Technology Could Significantly Enhance Ability
to Detect & Track Concealed Weapons
InVision Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:INVN) today announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Quantum Magnetics, is allocating additional internal R&D funds to accelerate the development and eventual commercialization of its weapons tracking technology.
The company believes that the new technology, when fully developed, will provide significant enhancements over traditional portal-style metal detectors.
As part of its increased development effort, Quantum is licensing patented, proprietary software and know-how from IBM Research and applying it to Quantum's weapons detection and tracking technology under development. The licensed technology, which complements Quantum's passive magnetic sensor technology and expertise, involves the use of a three-sensor gradiometer to measure minute magnetic variations caused by ferromagnetic objects at room temperature.
InVision believes that this technology will facilitate the construction of highly sensitive magnetic detection devices using commercial electronics and inexpensive components in place of more costly high-voltage or cryogenic super-conducting components cooled by liquid nitrogen.
Quantum's passive magnetic sensing technology utilizes an array of sophisticated sensors and tracking software to unobtrusively detect, locate and track in real time the motion of magnetic objects, such as guns and knives. The technology superimposes an alarm indicator over a closed-circuit television image of the persons carrying weapons and follows their movements throughout the facility under surveillance.
The array of sensors can be concealed in the walls or ceilings of areas such as entrances, foyers, hallways or other high security areas. This ability to unobtrusively monitor an area in real time for the presence of weapons is not currently available with any other technology.
In addition, Quantum's technology differs from traditional metal detection portals by detecting and tracking objects based on their magnetic characteristics. Because almost all weapons have unique and measurable magnetic "signatures," each known as a magnetic moment, Quantum's technology holds out the promise of being able to effectively discriminate between guns and harmless clutter objects such as keys and eye glasses.
Sergio Magistri, president and CEO of InVision, said, "In contrast to other technologies, Quantum's passive magnetic sensing does not subject people to emissions of any types of electromagnetic radiation. Once developed, we expect that the most likely applications for this technology will be to provide advance notice of the presence of guns and other weapons in banks, courthouses, schools, government facilities, train stations, airports and other places where security is necessary."
As previously announced, Quantum has received nearly $1.5 million in research and development awards from several government sponsors to develop portions of the technology. The company believes that developments made in all of these programs will directly apply to its concealed weapons tracker.
Currently, Quantum is focusing development efforts for its passive magnetic sensor technology on: -0-
-- A system to detect shallow water naval mines, land mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO), under a $750,000 contract from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, administered by the Naval Coastal Systems Station; -- A patrol car mounted system for concealed weapons detection to scan suspects as they approach police cars, funded by a grant of approximately $300,000 from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) for phases I and II in a $550,000 program; -- An airborne detection system to find underground ferromagnetic structures (such as bunkers and hidden weapon emplacements) and heavy equipment, with funding of $250,000 from the Air Force Geophysical Laboratory at Hanscom Air Force Base; -- The operation since October 1997 of three walk-through portal security systems based on passive magnetic sensing technology at the Bannock County Courthouse in Pocatello, Idaho. These systems are successfully detecting concealed guns, knives and other weapons.
About InVision Technologies and Quantum Magnetics
InVision Technologies develops, manufactures, markets and supports automated explosive detection systems (EDS) for civil aviation security and drug detection applications, based on computed tomography (CT) technology. Today, more than 150 FAA-certified CTX 5000 series systems are deployed worldwide to provide the traveling public with the best security against terrorism available.
InVision's wholly owned subsidiary, Quantum Magnetics, acquired by InVision in September 1997, develops and commercializes patented and proprietary technologies, including key quadrupole resonance (QR) patents licensed from the Naval Research Laboratory, that are based on a state-of-the-art, low-cost version of magnetic resonance adapted for explosive detection. InVision Technologies is based in Newark. Additional information about the company can be obtained on the World Wide Web at: http://www.invision-tech.com.
Except for the historical information contained herein, this news release contains forward looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including risks inherent to the development of new products and new applications; risks inherent in obtaining government funding and government procurement contracts; risks inherent with the timely development of products and the acceptance and pricing of new products; and other risks detailed from time to time in the company's SEC reports, including the most recent report on Form 10-K.