Over the past two years, security technology and public safety policy and transparency have violently bumped symbolic heads. The shadow of body-worn video surveillance cameras has driven the public perception of deadly police encounters, primarily within the Black community and beyond. This recent exposure has put the technology on equal footing with myriad previous incidents that have grabbed headlines across the country and motivated a movement to mitigate these tragic encounters. As body-worn camera (BWC) proponents have long lauded the visceral perceived benefits to the public safety sector, there has been a steady migration of body-worn devices to other environments in the municipal and commercial business world.
Expanding Use Cases for BWCCourtesy of Axon
Municipal agencies are seeing body-worn devices work their way into fire departments, courthouses, and onto the uniforms of emergency medical technicians, while on the commercial side, BWC solutions have infiltrated manufacturing plants, retail stores, warehouse facilities, healthcare and school facilities. The technology has even penetrated everything from private security officer companies to big-box retailers like Walmart, which issues proprietary body-worn cameras to monitor its In-Home delivery service team in at least three states around the country where drivers have access to private homes of absent owners to deliver perishable groceries directly inside waiting refrigerators.
In a recent interview with the Seattle Times, Axon, a leading manufacturer of BWC solutions, founder Rick Smith remarked that even though cameras like the GoPro have typified the consumer body-worn camera market for years, his company and others have gained traction with clients because its technology is better suited for evidence gathering given their 12-hour, full-police-shift battery life and delivery of accurate, non-erasable footage — even in low light — and crisp audio along with secure storage options.
Unlike the consumer-glad recreation BWC technology, vendors like Axon, Axis Communications and Tyco Exacq have specialized in integrating advanced data management platforms…