Athena: AI-Driven Surveillance to Prevent Crimes

Christopher Ciabarra, CTO & Co-Founder and Lisa Falzone, CEO & Co-Founder Imagine a scene where a person is walking down the street. He stops at a curb, watching the traffic and waiting for the pedestrian crossing signal to turn green so that he can cross the road. When his attention is on the traffic, suddenly, someone comes behind him and pulls out a knife. The person is absolutely unaware of the danger behind him; he did not even notice someone following him. However, before he can hear the usual, “Give me your wallet and valuables,” he hears from the camera at traffic signal, “Knife has been spotted, and the police are already on the way.” Seems like an unrealistic scenario, right? Not anymore. Athena Security is revolutionizing video surveillance by bringing this idea to reality with its AI-powered smart security system that uses human-computer vision to understand threats and prevent them. By employing AI and motion sensor technology, Athena aims to prevent crime by recognizing a threat and reliably report it as its happening. Whether it’s someone pulling out a gun, trying to steal, mugging someone, or attempting a kidnapping, Athena's human-computer vision can see the threat and stop it before it becomes a crime by transmitting the images to law enforcement. Athena’s security system then talks to the criminal to tell him or her that the police have been alerted, effectively acting as an alarm system and a security camera in one to prevent crimes in real time.

Time’s Up for Criminals!

For decades, organizations have been deploying security camera in the name of reducing dangers only to realize that the video footage merely acts as evidence in court. “That isn’t security, its prosecution. A true security camera should protect people before a crime happens,” says Lisa Falzone, CEO and co-founder of Athena. The most advanced security systems try to maintain security by having active security personnel monitor the video feeds. But due to a phenomenon called “video blindness”, a guard can only effectively monitor a screen for 40 minutes. “Security Oz Magazine found that operators miss up to 45 percent of screen activity after 12 minutes of continuous monitoring, and this miss rate increases to 95 percent after 22 minutes,” states Lisa. When a trained guard cannot monitor a single camera for more than 40 minutes, then how can one secure every hallway, office, road, and classroom in the country? The recent shootouts at YouTube’s office by a raging YouTuber that left few employees injured stand witness to security failures. Worst still, such incidents also invoke fear among employees as they become scared of going to the workplace post such mishaps. If the security camera could monitor itself and alert the security personnel when a threat is present, a single guard could effectively monitor dozens of cameras and protect an entire school, office, or airport.

With Athena’s system in place, crimes can be prevented by recognizing threatening actions and stopping them with a virtual police presence before a crime can escalate any further.


Unlike the traditional security cameras that can document crimes, which prove to be useful only after an incident, Athena’s groundbreaking system has the power to stop crimes during its occurrence


“Our systems can solve the problems associated with current surveillance technology: delay, poor information transmission, and dangerously long response times.” At the same time, Athena offers critical information in real time, immediate response to a threat, and a safer, less threatening world. Athena’s ingenious security system instills a feeling of security among the employees, students, and the citizens in general since it can prevent crimes beforehand.

By analyzing multiple data points, Athena’s AI-powered technology can detect crimes quickly and accurately as compared to systems that rely solely on humans. It can not only recognize a criminal’s actions but also use facial recognition capabilities to identify the criminal and respond to dangerous situations immediately and accurately. Athena makes the surveillance camera monitoring automatic and accurate. Its ability to prevent the crime in real time eliminates human errors or delayed understanding of an ongoing incident. “With Athena cameras, time is up for criminals, shooters, and predators,” extols Lisa.

As a turnkey solution for proactive video surveillance, the company offers cameras as well as the security systems to clients. In case the client already has cameras in place, Athena will provide only the system. Being a self-contained system, what makes the Athena unique is it does not require working in the cloud nor does it need an internet connection. “As opposed to cloud-based systems for which surveillance data are slow to upload, or can lead to loss of information in case of poor connectivity, Athena uses proprietary technology to decentralize the data feed, mitigating the chances of data loss,” says Lisa. Athena’s system continues to work even if a device is destroyed or a connection is dropped. Because of Athena’s hybrid connection, video feeds can be viewed at any time on any device with an internet connection. The company focuses on leading-edge software, allowing users to integrate with existing security systems.

Bidding Adieu to False Alarms

From the law enforcement standpoint, police officers need accurate details of the crime scene, which unfortunately terrified victims are unable to provide. Oftentimes, police officers are called onsite without the information they need or are sent false alarms about the crime scene. Added to that, suspects cannot be held indefinitely waiting for the evidence, so dangerous offenders walk free. Thanks to bureaucratic delays in getting the footage from the crime scene! Athena is metamorphosing the landscape with its proactive threat detection approach that notifies police of the exact location of a crime, providing the real-time status of the threat.
“Unlike the traditional security cameras that can document crimes, which prove to be useful only after an incident, Athena’s groundbreaking system has the power to stop crimes during its occurrence,” states Lisa.

Athena’s innovative, cutting-edge technology combined with sensitive hybrid connectivity provides law enforcement with the tools they need to prevent violent crimes and arrest criminals before innocent civilians are hurt or killed. Once Athena detects a threat, it sends critical information in real-time to a monitoring service. That service validates the threat and only involves law enforcement when needed. The system then immediately calls the police through e911 and sends them the link to the crime scene. “Athena connects law enforcement to the threat in real time and gives them the ability to prevent the crime, even when they cannot make it to the site in time,” explains Lisa. Interestingly, the company’s cameras are equipped with speakers to communicate to criminal that the cops have been called and that the person has been identified. Athena’s system also enables police officers or negotiators to have a conversation with the assailant. Lisa also underscores the ability of the system to smartly take this set of actions by recognizing an actual crime, unlike the false alarms that have led to almost stopping the police from prioritizing their actions. Once an alarm is triggered, Athena offers the option to provide a lockdown if the client chooses to “plugin.” “Our smart system can stop all elevators unless a manual override key is inserted (fireman have a key by default), lock all classroom doors from outside access if a gun is detected, turn on lights, close all parking gates, and send text messages to third parties,” says Lisa.

Setting New Standards in Crime Prevention

The founders Lisa and Chris Ciabarra bootstrapped Athena with the idea of ‘personal bodyguard type software’ that can prevent crimes. We asked ourselves, “How can we use artificial intelligence and cloud-based technology to actually prevent crime and save people’s lives?” exclaims Lisa. In response to this, the founders decided to create an AI-based system to detect criminal activities to create a crime free world. Belonging to a background of successful serial entrepreneurship, Lisa is leveraging her expertise in building companies to help save lives. Her continued focus on expanding the company has helped her bag numerous awards such as Top Female Entrepreneur by Ernst & Young. On the other hand, Ciabarra is an expert in product development, technology, data security, and corporate management. As an anti-hacking expert, he also brings to the table exceptional knowledge of security systems. Owing to their combined efforts, Athena will power numerous schools, restaurants, banks, and retail stores to secure their premises with state-of-the-art security system.

"With Athena cameras, time is up for criminals, shooters, and predators"

Athena remains focused on helping businesses and especially educational institutions. Going forward, the company will continue to enhance its system’s abilities based on customer feedback and evolving requirements. What’s noteworthy is that this next-gen smart system enables businesses to believe that the investments in security and crime prevention are worth it, and employees can now fearlessly go to their workplace knowing that there is complete security.

Company
Athena

Headquarters
Austin, TX and San Francisco, CA

Management
Christopher Ciabarra, CTO & Co-Founder and Lisa Falzone, CEO & Co-Founder

Description
Offers security camera system and alarm in one which can be accessed from anywhere. What makes us unique is we have AI based software to help stop crimes before they start by using AI to monitor and react to a situation on the fly

Athena