A new study from the University of Pennsylvania demonstrates that wearable sensors could one day transform the correctional system by tracking gun use by community-based offenders, who account for a disproportionate share of fatal and non-fatal shootings.
Currently, detecting and deterring this type of crime can be challenging in the absence of reliable evidence that a particular community-supervised offender illegally used a firearm.
In the study, published this week in the journal PLOS ONE, Charles Loeffler, an assistant professor of criminology at Penn, demonstrates the feasibility of using low-cost, wearable inertial sensors to detect firearm usage.
To conduct the study, Loeffler used sensors similar to those found in fitness trackers to recognize wrist movements and other signals corresponding to firearm use. Research participants included officers from the Penn Police Department, construction workers and individuals engaged in routine daily activities.
The resulting sensor data was used to train a detection algorithm that achieved more than 99 percent accuracy in classifying individual gunshots, demonstrating that firearm use can be reliably distinguished from a range of potentially confusable human activities.
The Latest on: Wearable Sensors
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The Latest on: Wearable Sensors
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