Several police agencies, including New York City Police and Spain’s National Police, are looking into the benefits of using Google Glass in a few of their departments. A source from NYPD told VentureBeat.com that it’s Intelligence and Analytics department has acquired a few pairs and are putting them to the test. NYPD officials are not openly confirming this when contacted.
Google Glass is a small computer that can be applied to a pair of glasses, and yes, Google is working on a way for those who wear prescription glasses to also be able to use them. The small computer also has a built-in camera on the side for taking pictures and videos. Some police agencies believe that Google Glass would be a beneficial tool, allowing officers to retrieve valuable information while away from their vehicles.
Google Glass could help police match up suspect’s names and records within the databases used by law enforcement. A beat officer, who general does not have a vehicle, could run license plates or bring up mug shots of wanted criminals. The possible benefits of Google Glass for police are limitless. Google Glass is not available to the general public yet. The program is still in beta test with the Google Glass Explorer program. A person can submit an application to the website and if Google approves it, you must pay $1,500 to be a tester.
Even Spain’s national police, Nacional De Polica, are testing Google Glass. The director of the agency, Ignacio Cosido, is very impressed with the technology and, in a press release on Monday, said he was “seriously looking” and the “advantages” of his officers using Google Glass. He thinks that it could help with facial recognition and exchanging information between officers. Cosido added that this could transform the country’s national police.
Google Glass features a 5-megapixel camera with video capture and boasts and an on-board storage of up to 16GB. Google claims the glasses will fit “any face” and is fully synced with Google cloud storage. Its audio uses a bone conduction transducers which, rather than using ear buds, sends audio vibrations directly through the small bones in your inner ear which translates the vibrations to sound. Besides, that feature, many think it’s just a smartphone you wear on your face. Some are even unsure of the tech being socially acceptable.
A man and his wife were ordered to leave a movie theater last month in Ohio because the man was wearing Google Glass. The staff at the theater asked the man to leave during a film because he would not remove the device. The man kept telling then he was not recording anything and that the Glass was turned off. Eventually the staff called police and the police officer on scene removed the man from the theater.
The unnamed man said that he kept telling them the glasses were turned off and that he could not remove it because it was attached to his prescription glasses. He also told them that if they were on, they would be able to see the light. However, every time he tried to remove the Glass to show them they said no in fear that he would erase evidence against him that was on the Glass. Google later commented that they did not have or endorse a prescription lens product and that many are finding their own solution to the problem. Google is working on their own solution to the problem of corrective lenses.
Google Glass opens up all kinds of possibilities and may prove to be the replacement for smartphones in the future. However, with a hefty price tag and social implications it may be for now, that the only ones that can reap the benefits are police agencies.
By Adam Stier