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Look at Some Innovations to Help Fight War on Terrorism

Aired July 10, 2002 - 10:16   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: We turn our attention now to homeland security and to some innovations developed by small businesses to help fight the war on terrorism.

Our congressional Correspondent Kate Snow joins us. She is now at a homeland security expo on Capitol Hill and, if nothing else, it's a sign of the times, Kate, is the fact that there even would be a homeland security expo on Capitol Hill.

Good morning to you.

KATE SNOW, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you.

And it really is a sign of the times. This is the first time they've tried this or done this. We're in a basement in one of the Senate office buildings. It looks more like a convention center today. There are all kinds of products on display here, all by small businesses. I'm going to turn to one right away here. Peter Mottur is going to join us in just a second. Take a look at the camera up on the top there, he's got mounted. It's got me on it right now, and Peter is controlling that.

Show me how you're controlling that, Peter.

PETER MOTTUR, CEO LIVE WAVE, INC.: We put controls here on handheld devices like this one, so that first responders and other law enforcement can access cameras via wireless network and control them.

SNOW: You're holding what's essentially a Palm Pilot or a handheld PC, and you're able to control a camera. This one's right here, but it could be miles away from you, correct?

MOTTUR: Exactly, it could be anywhere over a wireless network, and really what this allows people to do is really reduce risk to potential, you know, threatening environments.

SNOW: Can you turn it a little bit? How does it work?

MOTTUR: Oh, sure. Basically by clicking and dragging on the screen here, I can basically move the camera and I can track objects with very good precision.

SNOW: So who would have this, a security guard or someone like that? MOTTUR: Right, it could be a security guard. It could be local police, and we created a multi-jurisdictional system so that the different jurisdictions responding to an incident can share the video and control and respond appropriately.

SNOW: And show us, you've got one deployed in the field already.

MOTTUR: Absolutely.

SNOW: You've actually got more than one, but here's one at Logan Airport up in Boston, which is near where you're based in Rhode Island.

MOTTUR: Right.

SNOW: That's live, right?

MOTTUR: That is live. This actually a demo camera on our Web site, but there is someone actually driving that camera.

SNOW: There's a plane landing right now.

MOTTUR: Yes, and there's someone actually driving this camera in real time and actually tracking the plane. The camera is about a mile and a half from the runway too, so that's the type of precision control that we've developed, which is very compelling to law enforcement.

SNOW: Fantastic, thanks for showing that off. We're going to move over this way behind us here. Daryn, there are about 50 companies displaying things here today. I was told that more than 500 small businesses wanted to be here, but there's only room enough for 50 of them, so they had to kind of limit how many people could be here. All of them are people that have less than 500 employees. That was the criteria for getting in. This is Frank Kuchinski.

FRANK KUCHINKSI, VP, TRITON SYSTEMS, INC.: Hi, Kate.

SNOW: You've been kind enough to invite us over to your booth. You've got a very different product. Explain what these are. They're goggles like army or military would wear out in the field to protect their faces.

KUCHINSKI: Correct.

SNOW: Maybe a gas mask?

KUCHINSKI: That's correct.

SNOW: And you created this material, this coating. Tell me about that.

KUCHINSKI: Right. We have actually made a coating here which employs a nanotechnology, very small particles that are added to the surface in order to protect the surface and keep it from being scratched. The unique quality about our coating is it's hard enough to provide a scratch resistance, but it's soft enough to keep the ballistic performance as you can see here with a .22 caliber projectile.

SNOW: In other words, ballistic performance meaning that these are bullet proof?

KUCHINSKI: Exactly.

SNOW: And they remain bullet proof. They're not going to -- it's not going to shatter.

KUCHINSKI: They don't shatter. Right.

SNOW: And that's a bullet.

KUCHINSKI: That is a bullet, that's correct.

SNOW: What kind of slug is that?

KUCHINSKI: .22 caliber.

SNOW: And then, this is the coating itself?

KUCHINSKI: Actually, this is slightly different. Again, it's a polymeric material, plastic, and we add some of our nano-particulate to this to improve its barrier properties. So what this would do is protect a war fighter or civilian in the case of a chemical and biological attack.

SNOW: You were telling me essentially like a clay or something has been mixed in there?

KUCHINSKI: Right, a very fine clay that we treat the surface of, so it reacts well with the polymer. It doesn't lose any of its other properties, but this can be put on the inside of a tent or a temporary shelter as a liner to help protect whoever's inside that in case of a chemical...

SNOW: Who's using this kind of stuff now, mostly military operations?

KUCHINSKY: Primarily military, but as you can imagine, over the past several months, it's getting more and more interest for civilian applications.

SNOW: And who are you hoping to meet with here today? I mean I guess the audience here are procurement, federal government types, who are in the market for these kind of things.

KUCHINSKI: Right, well as well as other government applications, but of course, we know there will be a lot of civilians represented here as well, and we want to be able to help the general public.

SNOW: Frank Kuchinski thanks so much for sharing your product with us. We're again -- we've been cruising around here, Daryn. There's a lot to see, a lot of different products, and the whole goal to try to get federal government type people who do procurement, who buy products, interested in some of these smaller business products that have to do with homeland security. Daryn.

KAGAN: And, Kate, as you look at those items, and I'm thinking kind of more of the first place that you were, it brings up a lot of the ethics that we've all had to deal with since 9/11, and I kind of was thinking, oh Big Brother with the camera, you know, taking pictures, but we're all trying to work out that balance of wanting to be safe, yet wanting to live in a free and private society at the same time.

SNOW: Yes, it's interesting. Some of the other products that I didn't show you raise those questions too, like face recognition. I walked by a camera earlier and all of a sudden there was my face all over the screen. They have those already at some of the casinos in Las Vegas. They use it at the Super Bowl for example, so there's a lot of technology and a lot of questions, but all of it on display here today to try to give people an idea of what's out there -- Daryn.

KAGAN: Interesting stuff. We look forward to checking back and seeing what other interesting things that you find. Kate Snow on Capitol Hill thanks so much.

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