Google Glass Gives Police, EMS New Capabilities

IN THE 1987 science fiction movie Robocop, the title character is equipped with a special visor that not only enhances his vision, but also aids him in performing his duty by gathering information or being provided with the same.

With the introduction of Google Glass, “Robocop” may become a reality.

A Connecticut-based company is scheduled to show off Google Glass for law enforcement and emergency personnel at a public safety conference.

Google Glass is a wearable computer with an optical head-mounted display that is being developed by Google. The device displays information in a smartphone-like hands-free format that can interact with the Internet via natural language voice commands.

Hands-free computing

This is similar to the heads-up display (HUD) used by some of today’s fighter pilots who have information displayed on their helmet visors. Being hands-free, it allows the wearer to use his hands for other tasks.

Mutualink, a company that makes equipment for everyone from NATO peacekeeping troops to local police, just revealed that app at conference of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO), a conference of public safety communications.

The company provided a few hypothetical scenarios of how Google Glass could be used in a press release:

“Firefighters can study the schematic of a burning building transmitted to their device upon request before entering and while navigating a burning structure to avoid getting lost or caught off guard.

“Paramedics triaging patients at the scene of an accident with current medical records of victims displayed in front of them upon command.

“Police being able to watch video feed from school security cameras in real-time during an active shooter scenario much like Robocop who can tap into computer systems for any information needed.”

Real-time and high-tech

In a nutshell, the future of emergency response will be real-time, hands-free, and high-tech.

“The capabilities that are made possible by combining Google Glass and Mutualink can save lives in many crisis response situations,” Joe Mazzarella, Senior Vice President of Mutualink, said in a statement made available to PC Mag.

One area of concern among citizens is privacy. In the case of the police, citizens fear the police might be covertly photographing or recording their every move. This sort of thing makes them uncomfortable as they feel they are being watched.

Mindful of these concerns, Mutualink keeps privacy in mind when developing the new software, so the data recorded through the app will be protected.

Mazzarella said, “We believe there is a balance to be had, and we are strong advocates of purposeful, situational need driven information sharing within a secure and distributed owner-controlled environment.”

As long as these tools help public safety workers perform their jobs better, the citizens stands to benefit and there will be little reason to complain as these will outweigh their concerns. Lives would be saved and crimes would be solved quickly.

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