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Body camera product launches, such as Functional MobileWear’s gear system coming out in mid-April, are going mainstream to prove that the use of mobile devices, though wildly popular, is still only in its infancy.
The idea of body camera usage first came about as a way to help police departments enhance transparency, deter lawsuits, increase prosecution rates, and improve evidence capture capabilities. The idea even gained support from the U.S. Department of Justice who, in cooperation with the Police Executive Research Forum, created a near one hundred page guidebook entitled, Implementing a Body-Worn Camera Program, Recommendations and Lessons Learned.
Police departments have begun launching pilot programs and the positive results brought by the use of body cameras has been heavily highlighted in recent events. Last week in Georgia, police Sergeant Joe Hudson rescued a 3-year old from a house fire. Sgt. Hudson’s daring rescue was caught on film by a body camera he was wearing. The camera was one of 60 cameras funded by the Waffle House after a shooting in their restaurant last year. His department, The Griffin Police Department, officially launched its body camera program on January 1.
Last week, Gary PD in Chicago launched its test program. The department’s first officer to wear the body camera, a Wolfcam Vision 1080px, called it an “historic moment” for their police department. “We know that our officers can perform their jobs better when they have better equipment,” he said and according to a statement from that department, they hope to ensure that every on-duty patrol officer is provided with a body camera.
Manufacturers and distributors are now beginning to see the potential use for body cameras as a mass market product. Chicago-based company, Functional MobileWear, founded by Max Davis and family, is launching a Kickstarter campaign to help raise funds for the production of their body camera “new solution” and accessories.
“Police body worn cameras are inevitable,” said Mr. Davis. “Harnessing the power of mobile devices is the most cost-effective and smartest thing we can do as taxpayers.”
The company is presenting the product to consumer buyers as a fun, versatile accessory they can use to make their mobile and camera experiences more convenient. They are promoting public use benefits such as hands-free video recording, the ability to create POV action shots like a pro, and the convenience of making your mobile phone “wearable.”
“Due to the events in Ferguson as well as increasing demand for cameras that can be worn on the body,” said Davis. “We are preparing to release first production run of our universal, wearable kits and making them available to law enforcement officials and also to the public.”
Functional MobileWear launches their Kickstarter campaign April 14, 2015 with the hope that individuals across the globe will see the value in their products and support the mainstream emergence of body cameras and eventually make their use of mobile phones the norm.
“Our prototype tactical wearable kits for military and law enforcement purposes have been and are still being tested by the United States Army under their Emerging Modernization Program,” Mr. Davis said.
Read the rest of the story…Body Cameras Mainstream Launch, Functional MobileWear Pt. 2
by Bridgette Bryant