The Future of Security After Mass Reopenings

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Tim Stenovec
Bloomberg Quicktake

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Publish date

May 22, 2021

Using AI to Stay Safe

On April 21, 2021, Evolv Technology CEO, Peter George, joined Bloomberg Quicktake Anchor, Tim Stenovec, to discuss Evolv Technology’s touchless AI-based security screening technology.

Transcript

Tim Stenovec (Quicktake Anchor):
Well, this week, a leader in AI touchless security screening announced an update to let customers comprehensively review, analyze, and collect valuable data on their security checkpoints. Evolv Technology says it’s screened more than 50 million people, second only to the TSA in screening people in the US. The company recently announced plans to go public using a SPAC merger with New Hold Investments. Joining me now is evolve technology CEO, Peter George. Hey Peter, thanks so much for taking the time and joining us on Quicktake this afternoon. Where would people have interacted with Evolv Technologies products without even knowing about it?

Peter George (Evolv Technology CEO):
Well, they would know about it because they’d walked through our venues, Tim, places like stadiums, performing arts venue, schools. What would be different about walking into that venue through our system is that they’d walk into the venue and not break stride, no lines, nobody would touch their stuff, and we be able to screen for threats without them breaking stride and without them divesting of the things that they normally carry.

Peter George (Evolv Technology CEO):
And that is a transformative experience.

Tim Stenovec (Quicktake Anchor):
Yeah. I mean, I’m looking at the website right now, and I know that I’ve certainly walked through these machines at museums and venues. I wonder, though, what it’s fair to call these, right? Are these metal detectors? Not really, right?

Peter George (Evolv Technology CEO):
No. Their threat detection security screening devices, advanced sensors powered by artificial intelligence. So we can find the needle in the haystack and the needle is the weapon amongst all the things that people are carrying.

Tim Stenovec (Quicktake Anchor):
Right.

Peter George (Evolv Technology CEO):
And the magic is the ability to discriminate between a phone and a firearm. And that’s really, really hard. We’re all carrying phones and keys and things that are metal. Metal detectors are really good at finding all metal, but they’re really bad at finding weapons, and we find weapons really well.

Tim Stenovec (Quicktake Anchor):
How do you do it? What’s the technology that you use?

Peter George (Evolv Technology CEO):
Sure. So we’ve combined very, very advanced sensors. As you know, there’s been a lot of advancements in sensor technology and cameras, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. We fuse those all together. And we, as I said, could find the needle in the haystack. So as people walk through the venue, we’re creating different kinds of telemetry, the fragmentation of the metallic composition, the shape. Oftentimes, we’re looking for the barrel of a gun and when we find it, we can make a quick determination. But if it’s anything else that’s either metal or anything else they’re carrying, they can walk in without it. And so the ability to find a weapon on people while they’re moving without them taking their things out of their pockets is really, really important. You can imagine it completely transforms the entry into venues, where there are lots of people. We basically make lines go away and make the people in the venues on the other side super safe.

Tim Stenovec (Quicktake Anchor):
Okay. This sounds pretty great. I got to tell you, I haven’t been in an airport in a long time, but I know that the last time I was in an airport at TSA, this is not the technology they were using. There was a long line. Why doesn’t TSA use Evolv Technology?

Peter George (Evolv Technology CEO):
Sure. So we’re going to let the TSA worry about the sterile environment and the sterile environment is making sure nothing gets on a plane with 500 people and goes 10,000 feet in the air. The founders of this company actually had spent a lot of time in aviation and recognize that there was a big need for safety outside of aviation, where people were gathering, stadiums, performing arts venues, theme parks, and using traditional technology like metal detectors, which by the way, Tim, was invented 90 years ago, to solve that problem just didn’t make any sense.

Peter George (Evolv Technology CEO):
So it’s a really hard problem to solve, which is to find weapons on people that the weapons are concealed while they’re moving, and we solved the problem. It took us five years to do it and about a hundred million dollars. And so we’re in a great position now to democratize security and bring security to all those other venues, not like airports, that when people come back from this pandemic, they want to gather safely and we can allow that to happen.

Tim Stenovec (Quicktake Anchor):
I want to understand though about why it wouldn’t be in an airport right now and why TSA wouldn’t use it. Is it because the technology isn’t as sensitive as a metal detector? You use the term a sterile environment.

Peter George (Evolv Technology CEO):
Yeah. So we are in some airports today. In fact, seven of them. People are using our technology for employee screening.

Tim Stenovec (Quicktake Anchor):
Okay.

Peter George (Evolv Technology CEO):
So people could use it in their airport, but most of our focus is in the 0 billion TAM, which is non-aviation TAM, non-regulated.

Tim Stenovec (Quicktake Anchor):
You say TAM, total addressable market?

Peter George (Evolv Technology CEO):
Yeah, that’s right. Yeah. That’s right. Yeah.

Tim Stenovec (Quicktake Anchor):
What about this SPAC here? There was a surge in SPACs over the last few months. We saw a real dip in the most recent time period. Why is SPAC the right way to go public?

Peter George (Evolv Technology CEO):
Yeah. So look, we knew we were going to raise money and/or go public in the next couple of years. Their both certainty to close, and then timeframe, time to the capital we thought was super important. And the SPAC vehicle provided us that in a really a terrific way. As you know, we’re helping reopen America. And now’s the moment for people to understand who we are and how we can help them. So we felt by fully capitalizing the company, we can take advantage of the accelerated growth that we have in the market and help customers reopen safely. So we’re thrilled about this. Our plan is to become a public company sometime in Q2, probably in June. We’re really excited about that and working very closely with all kinds of venues today helping them open up.

Tim Stenovec (Quicktake Anchor):
Yeah, well, it’s certainly cool technology and I hope to be back in museums and concert venues soon as well. Evolv Technology CEO, Peter George. Hey Peter, thanks so much for taking the time, and for joining us on Quicktake.

Tim Stenovec
Bloomberg Quicktake