No matter what Samsung may think, Google Glass is really the “Next Big Thing.” The possibilities this futuristic device can provide are mind-boggling – in medicine with surgical procedures, the science field, opening up the world of special needs individuals, doing autopsies, investigating crime scenes, for firefighters, and now even in the police field. VentureBeat has learned the New York City Police Department’s intelligence and analytical unit received a few pairs and is now testing Google Glass to see if they can help the department fright terrorists and lock up the bad guys. A ranking New York City law enforcement told them, “We signed up, got a few pairs of the Google glasses, and we’re trying them out, seeing if they have any value in investigations, mostly for patrol purposes. We’re looking at them, you know, seeing how they work.”
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Glass is normally only available through the Goggle Glass Explorer program, in which people must first apply for them and if accepted, they must pay $1,500 in order to receive a pair. We were wondering if Google was working with the police, but a spokesperson for Google said that the company is not working with law enforcement on any project and that they must have acquired them through the Google Glass Explorer program. When questioned about it, they told VentureBeat, “The Google Glass Explorer program includes people from all walks of life, including doctors, firefighters and parents. Anyone can sign up to become a Glass Explorer, provided he or she is a U.S. resident and over the age of 18.”
Apparently other police departments may also test the new technology – San Francisco police department chief information officer, Susan Merritt, says they are not currently testing Glass but are excited about the possibilities and believes that the law enforcement applications could be huge. Possible facial recognition, pull up mug shots, reading a suspect’s rap sheet while they are interviewing them, etc. However, they could also raise the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) attacks on individual’s privacy being violated. So far the NYPD likes what they see and with over 34,000 employees, multiplied by all of the large and small police departments around the country, the police could be a potentially huge customer for Google. It has been reported that Google will sell them at just a little over cost, but the more they sell, the better, however, one has to wonder if Google would still be able to sell the information to advertisers?
Source: Venture Beat