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Taser AXON wearable surveillance kit – to protect, serve and record

By

March 24, 2009

The AXOM's HeadCam

The AXOM's HeadCam

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March 25, 2009 Dashboard cameras mounted on police vehicles have proven their worth in backing up courtroom testimony by providing a video record of incidents – as well as giving reality cop shows a veritable wealth of real life footage. Now a new product from Taser International, the company responsible for the electroshock weapon that bears that name, takes the idea one step further by capturing video and audio of incidents from the visual perspective of the responding officer.

The Taser AXON is a tactical networkable computer worn by first responders that combines advanced audio and video recording capabilities. It consists of an audio-video earpiece imager, speaker and microphone that integrate into existing radio communications through a standard 3.5 mm headphone connection, providing two way communications in addition to full audio-video recording from a head camera the size and weight of a standard Bluetooth headset.

The HeadCam can be worn over the ear like a standard Bluetooth headset courtesy of head brace that comes standard with the device, however the unit can also be mounted to glasses, helmets through the use of various accessories. It integrates with the radio earpiece and can capture color and low light infrared images. The Com Hub, which connects the HeadCam, radio and AXON Tactical Computer (ATC), contains the user controls – a standard push to talk button for radio controls and a single AXON event button that activates the system to start recording – is attached to the short of the officer while the ATC is stored away in dedicated pockets or on the belt or holster. The ATC is the brains of the system, running on the Linux Operating System the unit is responsible for video compression and storage, features a 10 hour rechargeable battery and 4.3-inch touchscreen display enabling playback and analysis of incident video.

After a day on the beat the Synapse Evidence Transfer Manager (ETM) handles the recorded data with officers placing the ATC into a cradle for recharging and uploading of data. Before the file is uploaded over a secure 128 bit encrypted transport link the AXON generates a digital fingerprint that verifies the original file hasn’t been altered. The data is uploaded via a broadband internet connection to EVIDENCE.com, which comprises two fully replicated, massively scalable, redundant, military-grade secure data centers with 24/7 reliability. The whole process promises a bulletproof chain of custody with the AXON evidence untouched by human hands so it cannot be deleted or altered.

Taser says the new AXON system not only increases officer efficiency by reducing report documentation, it would also be a boon to officers facing false allegations and complaints as they will be able to call on irrefutable video evidence to refute such claims. Taser also believes that such evidence will prove invaluable in the courtroom by giving jurors the ability to see exactly what an officer saw.

Apart from the influx of first-hand footage available to reality cop shows that could result from the use of systems like AXON, it's likely that "always-on" recording via wearable electronic devices will become common practice outside of law enforcement scenarios. Concepts like the Momenta neck-worn PC have captured plenty of attention in recent times and - even though lets face it, most of it is going to be mundane and boring - we’ll probably be recording just about everything we do in the not too distant future.

The AXON system is expected to be ready for deployment in Q3 of this year, so any spotlight hungry criminals might want to get their shirts off in readiness.

Darren Quick

Via Taser via engadget.

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.   All articles by Darren Quick
4 Comments

Will the equipment be available for use by the general public in backing up claims against the police?

TexByrnes
26th March, 2009 @ 03:21 am PDT

Yes I agree with the other postee..

The general public should be issued with these so that injustice and acts of heavy handed-ness by the police state can be properly recorded.

However, it is now illegal in Britain to take a photo of a policeman. Wonder why that is...

Jamie_S
29th March, 2009 @ 02:11 am PDT

I think this is a great Idea. I cant wait for the release of the EMS version. It would greatly shorten the time it takes to update EMS charts and filling out run forms. I've been looking for a wearable Tivo that would allow you to playback what was just said in the heat of an emergency when everyone starts talking at once.

I too agree with TexByrnes and Jamie_S this sort of device should be available to everyone. It would settle all sorts of disputes from Traffic accidents and speeding tickets, to arguements with the wife over why I came home so late. "See honey, there really was a crowd of semi-naked protesters holding up traffic."

Hasan Long
24th April, 2010 @ 05:40 pm PDT

Neat device. To all those who say the general public should be issued these... Do you really want a central dispatcher to know where you are and have an archive of everything you're doing? I sure as hell don't.

I'd like to be able to voluntarily use one of these, where I controlled where the data went. But to be issued one? Thanks anyway.

Derek Murawsky
10th August, 2010 @ 12:55 pm PDT
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