The physical security industry is somewhat unique in nature with its own way of approaching the particulars of day-to-day operations. For some of our customers, the security team takes a guarded approach (pardon the pun!) to sharing information and prefers to keep their tools, tactics, etc., out of the public eye, which is completely understandable given their mission.
This is completely unlike their respective marketing departments always sharing what they are doing, producing great ads to brag to the world, or the sales folks proudly disclosing that they use a certain CRM for tracking the client journey. As such, we find polar opposite reactions to the important question “should the use of autonomous security robot technology be made known to the public or not?”.
In some cases, the decision makers want to make a big deal out of their use of Knightscope technologies for branding purposes, public relations, recruiting, marketing, etc.; to set a tone with employees; or just to show that they embrace innovation. Other times it is just for fun: robot naming contests, “come meet the robot” kickoff lunches, or even hosting a press event with a custom made ‘robot’ cake!
Clients on the opposite end of the spectrum, however, may want to keep it quiet for competitive reasons or simply just prefer not broadcasting to the general public the key facets of their security program. Some of our clients taking this approach include, but are not limited to:
· A major defense and space contractor
· A leading cyber security technology firm
· A top stock broker
· A high-tech manufacturer
· A movie studio
· A logistics provider to high tech companies
· Top commercial property owners
· A leader in the pharmaceutical industry
Yes, we know what you are thinking: “how can a well-known company keep a 400-pound robot that roams around outside all day, every day a secret?” It is not necessarily the robot’s presence that is kept private. It is more about the capabilities these robots possess and how that company integrated them into their security program that is not freely shared.
Of course, there are reasons for that. If a robot was only capturing video all day long, it might be difficult to try to identify bad behavior, so not so worrisome for a criminal. On the other hand, if a robot with the exact same outward appearance in the same location also has the capability to detect the face of that criminal (that was previously blacklisted by the client) and can tell that their phone has been at this location 5 times in the past 5 days after midnight matching the same blacklisted license plate, now the security team’s odds of catching this criminal go up significantly.
Probably the most humorous times are when the client wants (or wanted) to keep the robot arrival quiet, but knowingly put the security robot in a very public, high traffic area – and we are legally obligated not to confirm or acknowledge the contract – yet the public is taking robot selfies all day and all night long, posting them on social media with their logo prominently displayed either on the robot or in the background. Awkward!
More will change in the next 10 years than the last 100 years combined – some of it will be difficult, some of it will be invigorating and exciting, and some of it will be just plain awkward. But the moral of the story is CRIMINALS BEWARE: it is safe to assume that the security robot you are looking at has a ton of sensors on it, a good amount of artificial intelligence and is getting smarter over time – and helping the human law enforcement and security professionals do there job, much, much more effectively!