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Just the Facts

What You Need to Know About Evolv Technology

FACT: Prohibited items, including weapons, have been known to get through metal detectors and other weapons screening technologies. No technology is 100% perfect. Therefore, a layered approach that includes people, process and technology is used to help mitigate risk.

FACT: Evolv customers have reported that the Evolv Express® systems have collectively detected and stopped more than 355K weapons since 2022.

Examples:


FACT:
The NCS⁴ Evolv operational exercise was conducted in 2021. Since then, Evolv has released four software upgrades to its AI-based system and continues to release upgrades. The NCS⁴ exercise program process can be viewed here.

FACT: By design, the NCS⁴ operational exercise program allows experts to observe technology capabilities in a sports environment. School customers test and/or review our systems in school environments.

FACT: The NCS⁴ operational exercise program has an associated fee for all manufacturers completing the process.

FACT: Contrary to misleading claims, Evolv did not change results of a third-party NCS⁴ report.

FACT: Screening technologies should be tested in live, real-world scenarios by security experts who have experience securing venues and the people in them. Not in labs by people without real world, weapons detection expertise. 

FACT: Evolv's position is to share all aspects of the Evolv Express system – including limitations and capabilities – with our customers, partners, and prospects – not the general public.

FACT: Security professionals know that releasing details of weapons detection to the public, known in the security industry as SSI (Sensitive Security Information), is irresponsible and puts our customers, their visitors, and the public at risk. Why give bad actors that advantage?

School children

Questions & Answers

Q: Does Evolv fail to detect most knives as well as guns and explosives?

Evolv Express systems are designed to detect various types of weapons, and components of weapons, that could cause mass harm.  

Evolv detects many types of guns, knives and explosives depending on the specific setting a customer selects as part of their daily security operation. People and processes are just as important around the system to help mitigate risk.

Prohibited items, including weapons, have been known to get through metal detectors and other weapons screening technologies. No technology is 100% perfect. Therefore, a layered approach that includes people, process and technology is used to help mitigate risk.  

Q: Does Evolv provide a false sense of security?

Evolv customers have reported that the Evolv Express systems have collectively detected and stopped more than 176,000 weapons from entering places where people gathered in 2022 – including over 90,000 guns and over 80,000 knives. That is not a false sense of security.

Example: Student tried to run after body scanner detected loaded gun in backpack at Ragsdale High School, sheriff’s office says

It is important for the general public to understand, as security professionals do, that there is no perfect solution that will stop 100% of threats, including ours, which is why security must include a layered approach that involves people, processes, and technologies.

Today, there is nothing to put an end to the tragic reality of gun violence. At Evolv, we are driven to be part of the solution. To offer an added layer of safety in a dignified way.  We feel that reducing any amount of risk is better than doing nothing. Weapons detection is not perfect, but it adds a layer of protection that can help deter, detect and mitigate risk. We will continue working to do better in our mission to make the world safer for people to live, work, learn and play.  

Q: What is the NCS⁴ Operational Exercise Program?

The NCS⁴ facilitates operational exercises for technology solution providers. As part of the operational exercise, the NCS⁴ assembles a team with the requisite expertise, identifies appropriate sites for the exercise, generates relevant scenarios, and simulates end-user interaction to provide constructive feedback for developers and interested parties. By design, the demonstration and exercise allows experts to observe stated capabilities in an operational or simulated environment. The NCS⁴ exercise program process can be viewed here.

Hear our VP of Technical Sales & Solutions talk about the NCS⁴ Operational Exercise Program.

Q: When did Evolv participate in the NCS⁴ operational exercise program?

The NCS⁴ Evolv operational exercise was conducted in October 2021. Since then, Evolv has released four software upgrades to the AI-based system and continues to release upgrades on a regular basis – all included in our subscription-based model.

Q: Did Evolv edit the NCS⁴ operational exercise report to alter the scores?

Evolv followed the same protocol all vendors are required to follow and reference.

As per standard practice in the NCS⁴ operational exercise process, commentary was provided by Evolv and questions were asked for clarification; no requests for changes were ever made to the NCS⁴ scores. 

Q: Did Evolv manipulate the original NCS⁴ report and remove negative findings?

No. Evolv followed the same protocol all vendors are required to follow and reference.

As per standard practice in the NCS⁴ operational exercise process, commentary was provided by Evolv and questions were asked for clarification; no requests for changes were ever made to the NCS⁴ scores. 

Q: Why did Evolv release a public NCS⁴ operational exercise report that is different from the full report?

Evolv provided an abbreviated version of the report as part of our announcement to the security industry.

Customers and prospects, including those professionals making decisions for school security, can access the full NCS⁴ operational exercise report under NDA. We do not make the full report public as releasing details of a security system or process puts the public at risk. 

This is a best practice well known in the security industry, notably the TSA. The TSA carefully guards Sensitive Security Information (SSI) to keep the public safe. SSI is information that, if publicly released, would be detrimental to transportation security, as defined by Federal Regulation 49 C.F.R. Part 1520. 

Communicating about weapons detection security requires a delicate balance between educating stakeholders on new technology and not providing bad actors with the information they could use to do harm.  

Q: Did Evolv pay for the NCS⁴ operational exercise and set the criteria?

The NCS⁴ operational exercise program has an associated fee for all manufacturers completing the process. The NCS⁴ works with solution providers to define exercise criteria and objectives to ensure criteria is applicable to the operational environment.

Q: Is paying for an evaluation, observation, or testing of technology capabilities common practice?

In order to adequately run the extensive level of real-world testing required for weapons detection screening technology, it is often necessary and standard for third-party testing vendors to require payment from manufacturers. 

Q: Why did Evolv say it can detect all the weapons and create weapons-free zones?  Isn’t this misleading the public?

We wholeheartedly believe in our technology and our mission and deeply regret if any of our past statements confused or appeared to generalize our capabilities at the time.

Taking screening technology to the mainstream is a very delicate balance of making the public aware of its capabilities and keeping information out of the hands of bad actors. No technology that exists in the world is 100% foolproof.

When it comes to physical security, three things need to be working effectively together all the time: people, process and technology in order to mitigate risk.  

Q: Why won’t you let IPVM test your technology?

For two reasons:

First, screening technologies should be tested in live, real-world scenarios by security experts who have experience securing venues and the people in them. Not in labs by people without real world, weapons detection expertise. 

Second, IPVM has told us that the general public should have access to detailed security information about our systems. In doing so, they may show bad actors how to circumvent the process. We fundamentally disagree with IPVM and know that making such SSI (sensitive security information) available to the general public is irresponsible and puts people at risk. We have also polled customers and security professionals charged with purchasing screening technologies.

This is a best practice well known in the security industry, notably the TSA. The TSA carefully guards SSI to keep the public safe. SSI is information that, if publicly released, would be detrimental to transportation security, as defined by Federal Regulation 49 C.F.R. Part 1520.  

Q: Has Evolv been contacted by the FTC?

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has requested information about certain aspects of our marketing practices, and we are pleased to answer their questions, as well as educate them about our mission to make communities safer and more secure. Like many companies, when Evolv receives inquiries from regulators, our approach is to be cooperative and educate them about our company. The Company stands behind its technology’s capabilities and performance track record, and is proud to partner with hundreds of security professionals to add a layer of advanced technology to their safety plan.

Q: A Denver resident said he was able to walk through your system with various weapons without being flagged? (Douglas county resident, Doug Schull)

Interestingly, Mr. Schull is connected to Xtract One, an Evolv competitor. We believe his opinion does not present a fair unbiased point of view. We take issue with him as a source for a news story that takes aim at Evolv; it's our position he has a clear conflict of interest.

See our latest FAQs here.