The boys in blue over at the New York Police Department have 2 pairs of the wearable tech, Google Glass. The experimental head-mounted computers are being trialled to determine their possible application to police work, the NYPD have said in a statement.
The technology used in Glass, feeds information directly to the eye-line of the wearer, potentially saving officers time and resources in having to cease what they’re doing in order to reach for their radio or smartphone or other device.
Deputy Commissioner Stephen Davis said in a statement. “As part of an ongoing interest in the advancements in the field of technology, the NYPD regularly conducts reviews of various equipment, devices, programs and other consumer products for their potential application or utility in the area of policing…In December of 2013, the Department obtained two pairs of Google Glass and has been evaluating these devices in an attempt to determine any possible useful applications…The devices have not been deployed in any actual field or patrol operations, but rather are being assessed as to how they may be appropriately utilized or incorporated into any existing technology-based functions”.
The devices are already being used in other areas of public safety such as fire fighting. A fire fighter in North Carolina named Patrick Jackson, has developed a Google Glass app that he hopes to develop further in order to include useful data such as information on specific buildings/blueprints, potential building hazards and contact information for owners. With Glass and an accompanying information app, a fire fighter would be able to say an address out loud or simply look at a building with the Glass camera to retrieve it’s information. Other fire departments right across the US have an expressed interest in Jackson’s app. The hope in the future is to link a thermal imaging camera to Glass, which is customized to work in conjunction with oxygen masks, thereby giving fire fighters partial vision through dark, smoke filled buildings.
As Glass can record video information, the device has the potential to provide law enforcement officers with instant information about a suspect or it may be used to record audio and video of communications with the general public. The ability of Google Glass to take photos and record audio and video has raised privacy concerns however.
The high-tech specs are not on yet the market and they are available only through the Google’s Glass Explorer Program, which allows organizations or individuals to test the glasses for $1,500, according to Google’s website.
[Image via tracyandmatt]