If a picture is worth a thousand words then what is the value of real time multimedia?
NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione (September 2015) said the cameras would keep both police, and the people they deal with, accountable. “When people know that the incident is being recorded, they behave differently,” he said. He also the cameras would help officers to record interviews, incidents and gather audio and visual evidence.” We know that it assists us in prosecutions when you actually have the footage,” Commissioner Scipione said. “There’s an old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words, well, today high definition video is worth ten thousand words.”
Undeniably, there are several compelling reasons for public safety agencies to embrace this video technology, which represents major advances from the in-vehicle cameras that has been in place for many years.
The obvious reason that body worn cameras are a valuable tool is that the camera can go where in vehicle cameras cannot. This technology lets first responders’ capture compelling evidence that otherwise would be unattainable, whether it’s a police or ambulance officer attending a domestic violence incident or chasing a suspect on foot once they leave their vehicle the video evidence often leads to more confessions once the evidence has been shown to the suspect. This type of evidence reduces the time that officers have to spend in courts, putting the officers on the street where they are needed most.
If the general public know that first responder’s agencies use body worn camera and that there is a chance of being recorded then they would modify their behaviour keeping them and the first responders more accountable.
In the past perhaps the most compelling reason for public safety agencies to embrace this technology is that it enables a vital questions to be answered about an incident:
What has occurred?
Today: The question should be; what is occurring?
Now, first responders can send or receive text messages, images and video via the latest camera technologies built into smart glasses. Text can overlay images to annotate special instructions or detail, for example, a floor plan. Live video streams can come from a drone circling overhead, surveillance cameras or even another head-worn camera device. For the wearer, all this information appears on a tiny screen tucked into the right corner of the glasses, minimising distractions and avoiding the line of sight.
Body worn cameras have been around for some time and these technologies have made great advances. Today it’s possible to have live video streaming which can help reduce the risk on the frontline and provide greater safety and deliver enhanced situational awareness via the latest multimedia technologies.
It’s now possible to share multimedia applications via the world’s first wearable communications gateway that enables first responders to share multimedia information with command posts and other agencies in real time over secure wide area networks. In emergency situations where saving time equals saving lives, the Wearable Smart Gateway™ (WSG™), powered by the tiny and ultra-low power Intel® Edison™ chip, significantly reduces response times and helps first responders overcome the classic challenges of situational “blindness.”
The (WSG™) bridges critical devices used by first responders – including body cameras, heart rate monitors, locator beacons, and other handheld sensors – and instantly and securely transmits this data to relevant parties. This capability vastly improves situational awareness and provides unprecedented interoperability to first responders. The Wearable Smart Gateway is the first in a series of devices to emerge from the Internet of Public Safety Things (IoPST™) initiative spearheaded by Mutualink.
The leverages current communications tools, incorporates state-of-the-art emerging technologies. aims to better equip the next generation of first responders with interconnected technology that can ultimately save lives in emergency scenarios. The (IoPST™) leverages current communications tools, incorporates state-of-the-art emerging technologies.
Public safety officials today wear and carry a number of devices for various functions, but typically these devices don’t easily communicate with one another, nor do they connect to command-and-control or to other agencies. The (WSG™) eliminates these constraints and increases the efficiency of all devices by connecting them – to each other and to relevant parties – in real time through a secure network to share voice, video, health sensor data, location, and much more.
Potential first responder applications for the Wearable Smart Gateway™:
Real-Time Video Streaming from Body Camera: Police officers streaming hands-free live video from body cameras to the command centre, providing real-time intelligence during an incident.
First Responder Personal Health Diagnostics:
Fire fighters sending biosensor data to the command post, making early detection of distress or exhaustion possible.
Multi-Location Crisis Management:
SWAT teams transmitting up-to-the-minute wide area and accurate indoor location data to officers in a Mobile Command Vehicle during a terrorist manhunt or active shooter situation.
If or when the Australian Governments deliver a Mobile Broadband Network for first responders it should have the ability to connect first responders not only with each other but also with national, state, local and other commercial databases and information sources.
Firefighters, medical personnel, police officers, and SRG teams can benefit tremendously from the latest body worn cameras. Even today, first responders rely on displays in emergency vehicles to access mission-critical information. But when out in their vehicle, they have to fall back on voice-only radios, greatly limiting their situational awareness and their ability to coordinate with other personnel.
This problem can now be overcome by placing a micro-LCD display just below a first responder’s right eye. This display can deliver real-time visual information from a secure network, and it can be accessed at a glance without obstructing the responder’s field of view—all completely hands-free.
As a full-fledged wearable computer with an integrated camera and networking capabilities, this technology can assist first responders in other key ways:
- Because it can capture live video footage and stream it securely to ground personnel and remote command centres, these new body cameras presents a clear advantage over traditional body cameras. Those cameras can miss important situational elements when the responder’s hands and arms get in the way—and they generally can’t stream live footage over mobile broadband network, either.
- These latest body cameras can capture and transmit a first responder’s GPS location in real time, and when paired with wireless bio metric sensors (e.g. heart-rate monitors), it can also transmit live vitals—an important feature in the hectic, high-stress environments where first responders function.
Put together, Smart Glasses and the (WSG™) can greatly facilitate critical decision-making in life or death situations. These solutions have been tested and implementation via the Internet of Public Safety Things (IoPST) and it allows streaming of video over both commercial, private 4G/LTE networks like Mutualink’s IRAPP—the largest interoperable emergency network in the United States, used by over 1,000 agencies.