New Technologies, New Defenses: Beating ShotSpotter in Firearms Trials

ShotSpotter is acoustic gunshot detection and location technology that detects gunfire using GPS-enabled microphone sensors installed on rooftops and utility poles. According to ShotSpotter, the sensors can result in the placement of a fixed point on a map (within a few feet) where a gunshot event happened. However, are the sounds always gunshots or are they sometimes vehicles backfiring or fireworks? How accurate is ShotSpotter? Preliminary reports suggest a level of geographic precision that does not withstand the company’s own detailed analysis.