I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Bill Switzer, head of CopTrax, a division of Stalker Radar in Georgia. CopTrax is making a name for itself as the first company to offer a software solution to law enforcement officers based on Google Glass.
On Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, the Byron Police Department in Georgia–a loyal Stalker Customer–captured video footage using Glass device while running the CopTrax software application for Android. Byron PD uses the CopTrax video system in their cars but during the field trail the goal was to capture video using CopTrax from the vantage point of the officers eyes using the new Google Glass wearable computers. Byron was able to capture footage of an arrest, a traffic stop, using radar and lidar, and firing weapons while wearing Glass.
In order to avoid running down Glass’s battery, the CopTrax system doesn’t start recording until the officer activates his car siren.
The following is a brief compilation of some of the footage:
Interview with Sgt. Eric Ferris:
YouTube Video of the entire CopTrax System
CopTrax is not the only outfit interested in equipping officers with Glass. Members of the Secret Service are reportedly “smitten” with the device and have been spotted in the wild testing it out. And a company named Mutualink demoed an app in August 2013 that would allow officers to communicate in real-time via streaming video from the scene, as well as to receive and view key documents, including things like building schematics, medical records of victims, live feeds of security cameras in the area and more.
This summer, the Army tried out “tactical glasses” that transmitted live video feed from drones. Likewise, DARPA has developed its own holographic headwear, ULTRA-Vis, that layer graphic illustrations on top of what the soldier is observing in the field, such as the soldier’s position and orientation to provide visuals of troop locations, hazards and other surrounding objects.
Even as early as in 2009, the San Jose police experimented with head-mounted cameras to monitor their interactions with civilians. Officers activated the over-the-ear cameras every time they responded or made contact with a person. At the end of the officer’s shift, the recording was downloaded to a central server. The pilot project was launched in response to public criticism over incidents of police violence.
So remember to be on your best behavior the next time you’re pulled over. And smile.