NYPD Testing Google Glass for Patrol, Investigations

Google said it isn’t directly working with the NYPD for the beta-testing

Google Glass may no longer be a device only seen on techies strolling around San Francisco. According to a new report, the New York Police Department (NYPD) is testing the wearable gadgets for day-to-day duties.

According to VentureBeat, the NYPD is taking part in the Glass Explorer program to see if they’d be helpful for patrol and investigative purposes. Some uses could be matching suspects’ names and faces to databases often used by police enforcement during arrests or interviews, eliminating hand-written or typed reports, and potentially wireless facial recognition software to nab the bad guys.

“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,” said a ranking New York City law enforcement official. “We’re looking at them, you know, seeing how they work.”

Google said it isn’t directly working with the NYPD. Rather, the department likely signed up for the Glass Explorer program on its own without any official partnership.

“The Google Glass Explorer program includes people from all walks of life, including doctors, firefighters and parents,” said Google. “Anyone can sign up to become a Glass Explorer, provided he or she is a U.S. resident and over the age of 18.”


TThe Glass Explorer program allows anyone to apply for a pair from Google directly, and if Google accepts the application, the user can score a pair of Glass for $1,500.

The NYPD believes Glass could positively affect its day-to-day, but it’s too early to tell at this point. Some citizens of New York City will likely feel differently on the subject, with many privacy concerns already raised about the use of Google Glass by everyday citizens, let alone law enforcement.

For instance, Seattle-based diner Lost Lake Cafe & Lounge released it’s official policy on Google Glass via Facebook back in November 2013 after a customer refused to stop using the device in the diner. The restaurant is concerned that Google Glass wearers (also known as “glassholes” in some cases) will take photos or videos of other customers without consent. The customer was asked to leave.

Google Glass also isn’t exactly the expected device of use for police officers, especially after a California citizen was ticketed for wearing them while driving. She later beat the ticket.

Source: VentureBeat

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