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Kravis Center testing new security technology that scans for weapons and bombs

Posted: 11:00 PM, Feb 07, 2018
Updated: 2018-02-08 11:40:48Z

In a world where churches, concert venues, and hotels have become soft targets for active shooters and terrorists, security technology is evolving. 

The scans and searches we're used to can get complicated; full body screening at the airport and bag checks at concerns and stadiums. But, The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown West Palm Beach is testing a new method. 

"This technology as you will see, does not require people to empty out pockets or take belts off. We don't want it to be the TSA experience," said Judith Mitchell, CEO of the Kravis Center. 

One by one, people can walk through the Evolv Edge portal at a normal pace and get scanned in real time. 

"We can process 6 to 700 people an hour per machine," said Cardinal Nesbitt, Security Supervisor at the Kravis Center. 

Nesbitt's job is to clear hundreds of audience members through the doors and get them in their seats before show time. The Evolv Edge Technology helps him look for more than just metal. 

"It will show us they have something abnormal on their body that's metal or chemical," said Nesbitt. 

The reality is today's threats against soft targets can include suicide vests and other types of bombs. The technology, created by a Boston-based company called Evolv technology, thinks quick to determine if there's danger. 

"It's collecting all the data it needs to make a very quick decision looking for firearms, looking for explosives, looking for threats," said Michael Ellenbogen, CEO of Evolv Technology. 

Ellenbogen said the machine can tell the difference between a knee replacement and a weapon. 

"We're using multiple sensors, we're using very smart software that can tell the difference for instance between your cellphone and a potential threat, an artificial hip," said Ellenbogen. 

If you're clear, you get a green light. If there's a problem, there's a red light.

The Evolv Edge shows exactly where the potential threat is located. Then, discreetly security officers work with West Palm Beach police officers to do a search and investigate if there is a weapon. 

"We do not allow them into the theater, they have to take their weapon back to the vehicle," said Nesbitt. 

As more venues look at what happened in Las Vegas last year, the explosions at the Ariana Grande concert, they're hungry for technology that does more than scan metal. 

"That's the goal, to not be a soft target," said Mitchell. 

Other performing arts centers in New York, D.C., and Las Vegas are testing the Evolv Edge. It could be showing up at stadiums and concert venues. 

The Kravis Center plans to host a workshop soon and invite other local venues to check out the technology.