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SVIPLA-Holiday Dinner Honors Dr. Robert Showen Inventor of the Year

  • 18 Dec 2014
  • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Hyatt Regency, Santa Clara, CA


  • Special price for members



 Thursday, December 18, 2014
  Hyatt Regency Hotel 
5151 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara
6:00 p.m. - Registration and Cocktails
7:00 p.m. - Dinner and Program

Thank you to our Inventor of the Year Dinner Sponsor
DLA Piper!

SVIPLA is pleased to announce its Inventor of the Year, Dr. Robert (“Bob”) Showen.  He is SST’s founder and patent holder on its innovative ShotSpotter technology. With over three decades of acoustic and geophysics research experience, it was Dr. Showen’s initial vision of helping police curb gunfire and urban crime that caused him to conceive of ShotSpotter.  He and several co-patent holders have had insights allowing this technology to assist law enforcement agencies in reducing gun violence.

Dr. Showen has been issued nine patents, with several patents pending, resulting from nearly two decades of innovation in the area of acoustic location technology.

Engineer, scientist, and teacher, he attended San Jose State University, University of California at Berkeley, and Rice University. He obtained degrees in electrical engineering and space physics and received a fellowship to the Max Planck Institute. He has taught astronomy and physics at the University of Puerto Rico, performed experiments to heat the ionosphere at the world’s largest radar in Arecibo Puerto Rico, participated in the development of over-the-horizon radar at SRI International, and studied the effects of lightning on the ionosphere.

Technology and IP Accomplishments
The first technical hurdles to overcome in the urban gunshot field were to discount the plethora of community noises which are not gunfire. Requiring the received impulses to have a very sharp onset was necessary to distinguish gunfire. Another observation was realizing that gunfire could be received by acoustic sensors at far greater ranges than other impulsive sounds so that placement of sensors far apart would limit the influence of weaker impulses, which is the ‘spatial filter’ at the core of SST’s first gunshot patent.

Another innovation from the SST inventors was the solution for the multipath problem where buildings block, reflect and refract the propagation of gunfire sounds.  Rather than use just the three closest sensors to provide a location, arrival times and angles at multiple redundant sensors are used to ‘vote’ on the most consistent location, rejecting echoes and other sources of error. Bob has also patented his ‘virtual sensor’ method to actually use the echoes as an independent triangulation input whenever the building reflection geometry is known.

If you have problems registering for the December dinner and want to make a reservation, please email Casey at caseymj10@hotmail.com.

DEADLINE FOR RESERVATION OR CANCELLATION: Tuesday noon, December 16, 2014.  Online registration automatically closes at that time - please make your reservation online by the deadline as there are only a few extra spaces allotted at the meeting for walk-ins. The venue may not be able to serve meals beyond the guaranteed number expected for the meeting.

SVIPLA Tax ID#-77-0491659

MCLE: This event will qualify for 1 hour of CLE credit. The Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Law Association is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider.


REMINDER: Renewal or new SVIPLA memberships are now due - the membership year is September 2014 - June 2015.  Please renew your membership at time of registering for the September dinner meeting or separately at www.svipla.org.

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