First tested in the 90's, the technology has been plagued with problems such as false-positives, but the latest brand appears to be able to "learn" from it's own mistakes over time to make it continually more accurate. Another major drawback is the high cost of these systems, though Federal grants have allowed the technology to be fielded in many cities for testing.
Personally, I am on the fence about this technology. I don't see anything here that might be construed as a violation of the Constitution, but reading through the news article I can't help but feel oppressed by it's Orwellian nature. Of course, we would all like to see dangerous and reckless criminals off the streets, but as with any new law or technology we should be wary of ways in which it could be misused, especially in the hands of ever more draconian corporate-sponsored police regimes.
Sniper Detectors Coming to America's Heartland
Gunshots ring out in the dead of night, and not a single person reports it. Yet police know exactly where the shots came from, even before they arrive on the scene.
It sounds like a scene from The Minority Report, but it's real. A new technology called ShotSpotter enables law enforcement officials to precisely and instantaneously locate shooters, and it has been quietly rolling out across America. From Long Island, N.Y., to San Francisco, Calif., more than 60 cities in the U.S. have been leveraging ShotSpotter to make their streets safer.
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Here is a presentation of another brand of similar gunshot detection technology: